Temperatures Saturday morning in Jackson cold enough to freeze the top of Campbell Lake in the Lambuth Area Neighborhood.
But they weren’t cold enough to create ice thick enough to support a 50-pound dog.
One dog got out on the lake and fell in about 9:30 a.m.
Fortunately for him, an unknown person called Jackson Fire Department dispatch and alerted them of the animal’s predicament.
“We got the call and checked it out with our Rescue 2 Crew,” said Randy Hayes, the Battalion Chief for Station 2 on Westwood, a couple miles from the lake. “It was probably about 20 minutes from the time we got the call until we got him out because we got there and saw we’d need a pair of waders to get out to him.”
By the time the rescuers got there, the dog had stopped barking and really trying to get out. Hayes thought it was because he’d gotten so cold in the water. Carolyne Steiner, who lives by the lake and posted pictures of the rescue on Facebook, thought he’d just gotten too tired.
“Either way it looked like he was close to giving up,” Steiner said.
Firefighter Nick Henson was the one who put the waders on and made the trek about 100 feet into the water to retrieve the dog.
“Nick’s a duck hunter, so wading into cold water like that isn’t new for him,” Hayes said. “And when he got to the dog, the water was about waist deep, and the dog could touch the bottom and keep his head above water.”
Henson took a pike pole with him to break the ice as he went along, and he also used it coming back after putting a type of webbing around the dog and led him out of the water.
“He might’ve been scared when Nick first got out there to him, but then when he saw we were helping him, he tried to help some but he didn’t have a lot of energy left in him to help,” Hayes said.
The firefighters got the dog out, wrapped him in a blanket and put him in Hayes’ truck, and he took him to Station 1 where he got him inside for a little while to warm up before giving him a warm bath to aid the process.
“He’s a good-natured dog and sat when I told him to, so he’s got a human somewhere,” Hayes said. “We gave him some of our leftover breakfast, and he ate that up and we took him to the Animal Care Center.”
The Animal Care Center put a photo of the dog up on their Facebook page hoping to track down the owners, because no one around the lake recognized him.
According to the Animal Care Center, the owner of the dog called and claimed him and picked him up Monday afternoon.
Steiner was glad to see firefighters were glad to help the dog out in a time of desperation.
“We appreciate our firefighters and police so much because of everything they do,” Steiner said. “And being willing to save a poor dog’s life like this is just another example of that.”
Reach Brandon Shields at email@example.com or at 731-425-9751. Follow him on Twitter @JSEditorBrandon or on Instagram at editorbrandon.
This article originally appeared on Jackson Sun: Jackson Firefighters save dog from dying in frozen Campbell Lake