If he didn't see it he wouldn't believe it.
On his boat commute home from San Francisco to Berkeley Monday evening, Adam Cohen spotted a group of windsurfers in the water with the sails down about half a mile north of Treasure Island.
He motored over to make sure everyone was OK when he spotted a dog on one of the boards.
The experienced captain said the puppy was far from shore.
"The way the current and the wind was, if she had come from Treasure Island, I can’t imagine she would have been where she was," Cohen said. "I can’t figure out where she came from. She was in the middle of nowhere."
The dog and the windsurfers needed Cohen's help. So, in rough water, a slow-speed rescue got under way.
"It took awhile to get her in the boat because it was rough and windy," Cohen said. "They couldn’t get to the boat. We couldn’t back the boat up to them."
With some drifting, Cohen managed to connect with the dog and get her on board. She was tired and shaking.
Cohen wondered if she was friendly.
"I was a little afraid because she’s big and I didn’t know her," he said. "It was a stressful situation and I didn’t know what she was gonna do."
Exhausted, the dog rested on the boat, and once Cohen got her home, it took hours to warm her up with hot water bottles. The Cohens nicknamed her "Richard Parker," after the tiger on the boat in the movie the "Life of Pi."
For now, the gentle giant of a puppy is well taken care of. She does have a collar, but no tags and no microchip.
As of Wednesday no one has contacted Cohen to claim the rescued dog.
The Cohens are asking anyone with information about the dog, which looks like it might be an Italian Mastiff, to contact the Berkeley Dog and Cat Hospital at (510) 848-5041. There is a long list of interest in adopting the dog, said Lisa Grodin, Cohen's wife.
The couple isn't sure where Richard Parker will end up, but at least for now she is safely onshore.
More NBC Bay Area Stories: