SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Last week two bystanders helped pull a man from a canal after he jumped in to save his dog. Now those men are being recognized by the Scottsdale Fire Department for their life-saving efforts.
"I just held onto the embankment, and I think adrenaline took over," said Jim Palecek.
Jim Palecek was walking his puppy Duke when the dog dropped a ball that dropped into the canal.
"Duke went into the water, and I went after Duke, said Palecek.
Danny Ortega and Tyler Moore were golfing nearby at the Silverado Golf Club when they heard the commotion.
"I heard something, and I looked across the bank over there, and something didn't look right," said Danny Ortega.
Palecek couldn't get himself out of the water; his right hand was cut up from trying to hold onto the side of the canal while Duke was on his left.
"A couple of angels came down," said Palecek.
Those angels were Ortega and Moore.
"I looked over, and there're Duke and Jim in the water. I almost went in and thought better of myself, and tried to stabilize the position and reach down," said Moore.
They stretched out a golf club so that Palecek could hang on until rescue crews arrived.
"I have to thank them from the bottom of my heart because they saved us," said Palecek.
Scottsdale Fire honored the two men for their actions that helped save two lives.
"There was nothing heroic about it, just helping your fellow man. The true heroes are standing right here, these firemen and policemen who protect us everyday," said Ortega.
The three men and Duke are now lifelong friends with an amazing story to tell.
Firefighters want to warn that while canals have been recreationalized, as with any body of water there is still the possibility of danger. Safety must be a priority if you go near them. Palecek said he's learned never to take Duke off the leash.