Around 10:15 a.m., staff at the Waterworks restaurant noticed the dog running in the shallow water on the top tip of the waterfall.
"We called police, the fire department, animal control. We called anyone and everyone," said Derek Adams, a Waterworks bartender.
The Philadelphia Police Marine Unit arrived to help, stopping an ordinary citizen from his own rescue attempt.
But, it all took a turn for the worse when the dog plummeted to the base of the waterfall around noon.
"I saw him when he went over. I don't know how he lasted that long," said Romelle Gibson of Elkins Park.
For forty minutes the female pawed the surface.
It was only when she gave up her effort that the rescue crews could really start theirs.
"The dog's instinct is to swim to the falls. Finally, she gave up and washed clear," said Ofc. Joe Curley of the Philadelphia Police Marine Unit.
They fished her out and gave her chest compressions to revive her.
By Friday night, the dog was resting at the PSPCA, where the doctors have been calling her "River."
The dog is said to be still in shock, and in pain, from her struggle.
"She has worn her nails down to her nailbed almost," said Dr. Kim Russell of the Pennsylvania PSPCA.
The dog had no collar and no tags so she'll likely be put up for adoption.
Adams, the Waterworks bartender, as already thrown his hat in the ring.
As to how River got in the river, it's still unknown.
Doctors did find scars on her face that appear to be from fighting, so doctors believe its possible she was thrown in the water intentionally.
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