A bystander rescued a dog who fell through a thin sheet of ice that had formed on a Copper Mountain golf course pond on Thursday, Nov. 16, according to Summit Fire & EMS.
- Guinness World Records ‘oldest dog’ Bobi stripped of title | World News
- Woman Who Rescued Dog Reveals Why You Always Ask Before Petting
- Dog rescued from shipping container in Texas port after being trapped for at least eight days | Offbeat News
- A Scrooge Story’ at Lost Dog
- Social media helps identify San Antonio man accused of attacking woman and his dog
While it is early in the season, the rescue should serve as a reminder about the dangers of thin ice as winter settles over the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Summit Fire & EMS spokesperson Steve Lipsher said.
“The natural inclination is to go in and rescue your dog,” Lipsher said. “This is actually a fairly common story. That’s why we want people to take the preventative measure of using a leash around water.”
The dog, a golden retriever or yellow Labrador named Charlie, chased some geese over the thin ice that was still forming on the shallow pond, Summit Fire & EMS said in a Facebook post Tuesday, Nov. 21. Predictably, Charlie fell through.
A good Samaritan who happened to live in the condos nearby, noticed the dog was struggling to get out of the water and jumped in the water to help “without hesitation,” Lipsher said. When a Summit Fire & EMS crew arrived, he said they found the man in running shorts looking “quite red.” But the man reportedly told the crew he does cold plunges regularly and did not need medical attention.
While Lispher said the bystander obviously knew the ice was thin and the water was shallow enough to wade in, he warned that as winter continues it may become harder to judge the thickness of ice forming on water bodies.
“More often than not, the reason anyone ventures out onto a frozen-over lake or pond is because their dog has headed out there,” Lipsher said. “Their dog doesn’t weigh as much as they do, and they spread their weight over four feet.”
Dogs’ four legs do a better job distributing their weight over the ice than humans’ two legs, Lispher noted. So, if a dog falls through the ice, it is almost definitely not frozen enough to bear the weight of a human, he said.
“We strongly discourage anyone from going after their dog,” Lipsher said, suggesting folks call 911 instead. “Because if their dog fell through the ice, they’re likely to fall through as well.”
Especially when wildlife like geese are around, people should keep their dogs on leashes near water to prevent their pets from dashing off onto a potentially dangerous ice sheet, Lipsher said. Just like humans, dogs can become hypothermic if they get too cold, he said.
Thankfully, Charlie was just fine after being rescued from the water, Lipsher said. After the rescue, Charlie reportedly exposed his stomach for belly scratches from Summit Fire & EMS firefighter Justin Boyd.
Laughing, Lipsher noted that it is part of dogs’ personalities to “think every day is the best day in the world.” Even a cold bath in icy Colorado waters didn’t seem to change that fact of life for Charlie, he said.