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Driving home, Cohen helps save dog from drowning

Large black puppy on a sunny green lawn.

Sheba enjoying dry ground. (Photo: Adam Cohen)

Driving home, Cohen helps save dog from drowning

September 11, 2013

Adam Cohen may have the most unusual commute to work at JustAnswer, but his ride home on Monday, August 12, was also life-saving.

While driving with a coworker across San Francisco Bay in his inflatable boat, he helped rescue a puppy that was found paddling about 3 miles from the Berkeley shoreline.

Cohen, VP of engineering, was flagged down by windsurfers who had found the puppy and put her on a surfboard. He and coworker Paul Chaffee worked with the surfers to coax the dog into the boat and drive to shore.

(Lest you're picturing a small raft or lifeboat, the "inflatable boat" is a 22-foot Sea Raider that Cohen drives daily between Berkeley and the San Francisco Presidio headquarters of JustAnswer.)

Cohen and his wife, Lisa Grodin, tried for weeks after the rescue to locate the dog's owners, without success. The puppy -- a Mastiff mix -- had no identity chip or tags and was nicknamed Richard Parker after the stowaway tiger in Life of Pi.

The couple has since adopted the dog, naming her Sheba Lucky Richard Parker.

Cohen gave a three-part explanation for the name:

  • "'Sheba' because my wife liked it, and she refused to have a girl dog named 'Richard Parker.'
  • "'Lucky' because the windsurfers really wanted us to.
  • "'Richard Parker' because that was the name that made her famous!"

Sheba has gained about 7 pounds since her rescue, Cohen said. "She and our other dog, Zephyr, are getting along fairly well, but Zephyr is clearly the Alpha."

While Cohen's caring actions are a great example of JustAnswer's values, he credits the windsurfers as the "real heroes."

"They stayed in the water to make sure she stayed alive," he told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I am certain that without their efforts, she wouldn't have made it."

See these links for media coverage of the rescue: