WINNIPEG — Winnipeg Blue Bomber and Grey Cup champion Brady Oliveira’s afternoon in the dog park took an unexpected turn after rescuing a woman and her dog who fell into the river.
Oliveira told CTV News that he had been walking his puppy in the Maple Grove Dog Park in St. Vital on Tuesday when he noticed a woman near the river, running after her dog.
“Next thing you know her dog actually fell into the river, and then she slipped into the river and held onto some sort of little tree branch,” said Oliveira.
“It was just natural instincts for me to go over there and to help them.”
The Bombers’ running back said he was able to grab ahold of the woman, who was holding her dog by the collar.
“I remember telling her, I said ‘do not let go of that dog and hold on to my arm’,” he said.
Oliveira said they were able to scramble back up the riverbank to safety.
“It was just a crazy moment,” he said. “It was definitely not the afternoon I was expecting, but I am so, so, so happy that I was there at that time.”
Oliveira said when they were back on dry land, the woman said she recognized him from somewhere. Despite his Grey Cup Championship hoodie he was wearing at the time, Oliveira said she didn’t recognize him as a Blue Bomber, but she did know him from his work as a dog rescuer.
Oliveira said he works with a dog rescue organization called K9 Advocates, which rescues dogs in communities across Manitoba. He said in his off-season he has worked with the organization to rescue about 50 dogs, including his own puppy Nellie.
“I’m just a huge dog lover and I spend a lot of time in that Maple Grove Dog Park,” he said.
With the Blue Bombers’ season still up in the air due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oliveira said he still stays in contact with the rest of the team and is looking forward to when they can get back on the field.
“Right now all we can do is be optimistic. I’m training like there will still be a season coming,” he said.
“For me, my goal is still set for all the things I want to achieve this year with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.”
As of early April, the CFL announced the season would not begin until at least early July.
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