SPOKANE, Wash. — A Spokane woman felt some early Thanksgiving gratitude after a City of Spokane employee rescued her dog from the Spokane River.

Mary Ellen Doty was walking her 12-year-old black lab Mack off-leash in the Kendall Yards area on Oct. 29 when he disappeared over an embankment. The dog had been missing for about two hours when Code Enforcement Officer Rob Chiappe heard someone across the river yelling about a dog struggling in the current, according to a city press release.

Chiappe was able to pull the tired dog to safety, the city said. Mack lost the use of his rear legs from the exertion of surviving the river, so Chiappe and Doty’s son took turns carrying 80-pound Mack up the steep slope.

The owner took Mack to the vet where X-rays showed no signs of serious injury. He made a full recovery.

“Rob went down a very, very steep embankment to get to the river and got my dog out of the river or he’d be dead for sure. And then he helped my son carry the dog out of there, which is nothing but straight up. It’s just really heroic and way above and beyond the call of duty. I just want to recognize him,” Doty said in a voicemail she left for Chiappe’s superiors.

Doty brought Mack to City Hall recently to thank Chiappe for rescuing her dog. She does not think Mack would still be with her without Chiappe's efforts to rescue him.