Firefighters in Guilford said a very cold rescue late Tuesday morning really could have turned into a winter tragedy. Two dogs were struggling to stay afloat in an icy Mill Pond. Firefighters said the ice is not thick enough for any person - or any pet - to venture out on.
Mimi Decker arrived at her home on along the pond's edge and new immediately something serious had just occurred there. There were fresh footprints in the snow and the ice out into the middle of the pond had been broken apart.
“There’s been some kind of crazy activity here, said Decker. "I’m hoping it’s not a kid.”
It was not a person that plunged through the thin ice. Firefighters said it was two dogs. They said a man who happened to be passing by the area called 911 after hearing the animals yelping for help.
Guilford Firefighter David Lindgren jumped into his protective wetsuit and then jumped into the pond, breaking through the ice to get to to the helpless Huskies.
“So I went to the closest one," said Lindgren. "Just talking to the dog and you could tell he was just very tired.” Lindgren got the dogs to shore and then on their way to the veterinarian to keep hypothermia from setting in. Hours later, first responders were able to track down the dogs' owner.
“I was just sitting there completely thunderstruck, said Bo Kane, who was at work when his dogs Dakota and Denali somehow busted out of his fenced-in yard and then trekked fifteen minutes to the pond - all on their own.
“If the fella, the mystery guy who heard them didn’t hear them, they certainly would have drowned," said Kane.
The 'lucky' dogs were back at home, warming up and drying out on Tuesday night. "They’re spent. Just absolutely spent," Kane said.
Firefighters warn that the same scenario could happen to a person. With recent mild temperatures, they said this should serve as a reminder to stay off the ice in order to stay safe.
“I’m so happy the town thought it was important enough to send somebody out in one of those fantastic suits and swim out there and save these dogs," said Decker.