At only 3 months old, an Italian puppy named Noodle just survived an ordeal that would test the mettle of many full-grown dogs — not to mention humans.
Six sailors from the Savoy yacht club were plying the Gulf of Naples in late October when they noticed an animal swimming nearby. Realizing it was a puppy, they began calling and whistling to the dog while trying to position their boat for a rescue — which wasn't easy, according to crew member Massimiliano Cappa.
"We approached, we were sailing and maneuvering was not easy," Cappa tells La Repubblica newspaper. But, as seen in the video above, the sailors eventually managed to get Noodle onboard. "He was visibly exhausted, his legs almost paralyzed by the cold," Cappa says. "He trembled and wept."
Another crew member, Alessandra Cuocolo, comforted the puppy until they could get him to dry land, where he was dried and heated with a hair dryer. After some initial mystery about his predicament, they finally found Noodle's owner — and figured out how such a small puppy ended up alone so far from shore.
Noodle had been out on a hydrofoil boat with his owner, Mario Di Meglio, according to La Repubblica. Meglio had Noodle on a leash, he tells the paper, but the rambunctious puppy wriggled free and "within moments was in the sea." Meglio says he ran to the boat's engine room, telling the crew what happened, but was met with indifference. "I see no dog," one crew member reportedly said, adding that a dog would surely drown, anyway, making a rescue attempt pointless.
"I was convinced that he was still alive, though," Meglio says, so he contacted the coast guard in hopes of mustering a rescue mission. They offered to send some units to investigate, he says, and to alert other nearby boats to be on the lookout for a swimming dog. Ultimately, it was the keen eyesight and humane instincts of the Savoy sailing club that ensured Noodle's adventure had a happy ending.
Meglio eventually tracked down the rescuers when he got back to shore in Naples, and Noodle is reportedly now safe at home — hopefully with a better leash.