The life of an 8-month-old German Shepherd ended Thursday when the dog found itself in the wrong place at the wrong time in a Colts Neck neighborhood.
Lisa Loew Mason was bringing out the trash with her dog, Rosie, by her side. Rosie spotted two dogs running in a field across the street, and took off after them. The dogs across the street had gotten loose because a neighbor's electric fence was without power.
In an attempt to catch up, Loew Mason hopped in her car. Not a block away, she found Rosie in the street next to a utility pole.
"I went up to her and was calling her name, I thought maybe she had just been shocked," Loew Mason said. "I almost went and touched her, I didn't even see the wire, but then I heard the electricity."
The wire was left hanging after a tree was removed from the area, and whomever removed it did not realize the wire was live.
Loew Mason said the wire was immediately reported to Colts Neck Police and the utility company. Police arrived on scene, and the company sent a van, but a bucket truck was necessary to fix the wire.
"We waited and waited and waited, JCP&L never came."
In the meantime, the dog remained in the road. As of early Friday morning, the wire remained hanging about a foot from the street, crackling and sparking.
The family contacted mayor Jarrett Engel late Thursday night, who brought Police Chief Kevin Sauter and Committeemen Jim Schatzle and Thomas Orgo to the scene on Friday. Engel said he was still shaken by the image, but knew the dog needed to be moved so the family could properly say goodbye.
"The mayor was at my door by 8:30 a.m.," Loew Mason said. "He risked his life to get my dog for me, I don't know how to thank him."
Although the wire was still live, it was far enough away from the dog that Engel felt he could remove it from the scene. Engel wrapped the dog in a blanket and brought it to the family.
"My wife is going to kill me," the mayor said, acknowledging the dangerous live wire. "Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. I am just glad I did it, it was the right thing to do. That family wanted to say goodbye the right way."
Engel then called JCP&L to put the live wire on a priority list. Within minutes, a bucket truck and linemen were on scene to cut the power source and tie up the live wire.
But the mayor was angry that a call from residents on Lakeside Avenue was not initially answered by utility crews.
"Why did it take a phone call from me? I'm a resident just like everyone else is. That's just pathetic," Engel said.
Loew Mason said the death of her dog is tragic, but she feels it may have saved a life. The wire was barely visible, hanging over the road next to the pole.
"It could have been a kid riding by on their bike, splashing through a puddle," she said. "Maybe my dog's life was sacrificed to save a life."
Rosie was a rescue dog, and the first dog for the family. Loew Mason said she had no intentions of getting a dog, but fell in love with Rosie when a friend was fostering a family of puppies.
"When we lost power, Rosie slept with my sons and I next to the fire," Loew Mason said, speaking of her 13 and 8-year-old sons. "It was her first snow day on Thursday. She loved it."
"We have great, loving memories of Rosie's short, happy life."