Firefighters rescue dog from frozen Conway beaver pond

  • Conway, Ashfield and Charlemont firefighters rescued a black Labrador Retriever from a beaver pond off of Fields Hill Road in Conway on Saturday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Robert Baker

For the Gazette
Published: 1/14/2018 11:32:56 PM

CONWAY — Conway, Ashfield and Charlemont firefighters successfully rescued a black Labrador Retriever from a frozen beaver pond off of Fields Hill Road Saturday afternoon.

According to Conway Fire Chief Robert Baker, the call came at 2:16 p.m. when the dog’s owners, who live in the home in front of the beaver pond, noticed the dog had fallen through the ice in the center of the pond.

When firefighters arrived, Baker said, they found the dog approximately 100 feet from shore.

“Just his front legs and head were sticking out of the ice,” he said. “The rest of his body was in the water and he couldn’t get out.”

Ashfield and Charlemont firefighters responded to assist, bringing cold water rescue clothing. Baker explained that, after tying ropes to each rescuer and to a rescue boat, the rescuers crawled on their hands and knees across the ice while holding onto the sides of the boat. Should the ice break, the firefighters could quickly jump into the boat, Baker said.

“The biggest thing is the safety for your people,” he said.

Though Baker said the ice was probably 3 to 4 inches thick near shore, the ice grew thinner in the center of the pond. By the time firefighters reached the dog and pulled him out, the ice was starting to break.

The pooch was eager to show his appreciation, Baker said.

“The dog was wagging his tail all the way to shore!” he said, laughing that the wagging tail even thumped one of the firefighters in the face.

He said it took firefighters over a half-hour to retrieve him, and estimated the dog was in the water for two to three hours. Baker believes his breed was an advantage.

“It’s a dog used to water,” he said, noting that the family said the dog loves swimming in the pond in the summer. “If it was a dog that wasn’t used to water, it probably would have drowned before we got there.”

The family, too, was eager to see their companion come to shore, Baker said.

“Everything was a happy ending,” he said.

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