A truck driver responsible for rescuing a dog loose on a New Jersey highway says that the happy ending is a sign that 2022 is going to be a great year. 

Jonathan Bolanos, owner and driver for Team Bolanos Trucking, was heading back to his truck yard in New Brunswick after hauling his last load of 2021 back from Florida when he got stuck in traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike near exit 6. Bolanos said he was scanning the road for an accident causing the traffic when he noticed a big dog running loose on the road. 

Bolanos says that the big brown dog was clearly scared and searching for safety – and that’s where Bolanos and his truck come in. 

“I saw the dog running full speed towards me,” said Bolanos, who was still in his truck. “I gently try to move onto the break down lane for it to pass me, but instead he went under it. My truck became a safe haven for the dog.”

Bolanos then stopped the truck and got out, only to see the dog hanging out under the rig, too scared to come out. 

“He was scared and barking and tired,” said Bolanos to My Central Jersey. “Many good Samaritans tried to catch him, but couldn’t. They had to leave the scene because they where blocking the transit lanes. That dog was lucky to stay under my truck because it could have gotten hurt.”

Bolanos and two police officers worked together to try to coax the dog out from under the truck but the pup, newly named “Clifford,” would not budge until finally two tow truck drivers apparently had the magic touch and got Clifford out from under the rig. 

“Thankfully, they got the dog out from the bottom of my truck,” Bolanos said. “I am grateful to see the dog is safe and people were showing so much care. We can accomplish so much when we are all united and help. It’s amazing — when everybody comes together.”

“It was a beautiful way to end the year. We all rescued that dog from getting run over,” Bolanos said.

“I was very happy to see this. I am very happy that I can do something so positive and end the year feeling like I did something good. I knew he was in safe hands with me — I love and respect animals.”

“It’s been very hard in a pandemic,” Bolanos continued. “Insurance is up. There’s a lot of work. But, I’d been feeling down — very stressed out. Now, I feel like this is going to be a great year.”

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