Golden Retriever Reunited With Owners After Missing for Two Weeks, Found Swimming in New Jersey Bay

by Amy Myers

Owners Marie and Jim Zangara were ecstatic when they received the call that their beloved golden retriever, Chunk, was safe and sound. State Troopers found the flight-risk pet swimming in New Jersey Bay by the Mantoloking Bridge. After over two weeks without him, the pup’s parents quickly reunited with a still soaking wet Chunk.

Golden Retriever Goes on His Own Adventure

On Sunday, June 6, Chunk and the Zangaras were on a beach in F-Cove in New Jersey. While the Zangaras may have thought their beach day was plenty fun, Chunk, however, felt that his playtime was not enough adventure. The golden retriever ran from his owners to begin his two-week vacation from home. Of course, his mom and dad were not as thrilled about the decision as Chunk.

Unfortunately, the Zangaras had to continue their search for Chunk from home, hoping he would show his wet nose sometime soon. They patiently waited to hear if there were any sightings of their three-year-old golden.

It wasn’t until this Tuesday, 16 days after the golden retriever took off, when New Jersey State Troopers received a call near Barnegat Bay that the dog’s excursion came to a close. Two joggers spotted a dog swimming near Mantoloking Bridge, presumably enjoying his favorite activity. The concerned citizens tried to catch the lost dog, but Chunk had other plans and hopped right back in the water.

Troopers Ryan Koehler and Vincent Ferdinandi responded to the call while preparing for their shift. Once at the bay, the officers loaded onto a vessel and met Chunk, who swam nearly two miles across the bay before boarding the department boat. Koehler and Ferdinandi then headed back to shore with the runaway in custody and waited for his parents to arrive.

Chunk May Need a New Name

When the Zagaras reunited with their golden retriever, they greeted him with hugs and kisses.

“I’m just over the moon. I’m just so happy to have him back,” Chunk’s mom told Fox News.

To commemorate the happy occasion, the Zagaras took a picture with Chunk and his rescuers. Mom and Dad crouched happily next to their dog and Troopers Koehler and Ferdinandi posed contently in the back. The only one that didn’t appear happy the adventure was over, was, of course, Chunk, who may be enjoying the beach on-leash from now on.

Chunk may also be in need of a new name. According to Jim Zagara, the golden retriever doesn’t have much “chunk” left to him anymore. The adventurous dog lost roughly 20 pounds in his 16 days away from home. Exhausted from over two weeks’ worth of swimming and fasting, Chunk was not available for comment. Though, we suspect he may be proud of his new trim figure.