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Dog rescued after fall through ice in Westport

February 28, 2013 6:55:10 AM PST
A neighbor spotted a golden retriever that fell through the ice and called 911.

By the time firefighters got to the scene, the dog had stopped moving.

It was cold and hypothermia might have set in.

Firefighter Toby Ostapchuk says it was obvious the golden retriever had been in there for a while.

"The dog was just clinging to the edge of the ice," Ostapchuk said.

He jumped into the water after the 911 call came in.

Someone had spotted the dog in the pond off Westport's Hale Road.

Within minutes, firefighters were there trying to get the dog out.

"I was trying to make sure the dog knew I was trying to help him," Ostapchuk said.

We would later find out that the dog's name is "Huckleberry" and he lives with a family around the corner from the pond.

Wednesday morning, just as the wind and rain picked up a tree came crashing down in the family yard.

It may have startled the dog who took off running.

He ended up at the pond and fell through the ice.

"I'm glad somebody spotted him," said Rachel Frey, the dog's owner. "By the sound of it, he would have gone under and that would have been the end of Huck."

The firefighter's saved Huck by pulling him to the edge of the pond and then lifting 100 pound dog out.

But not before Deputy Chief Robert Kepchar snapped a photograph.

"There was a moment in the still photo when the dog looked at him, dog kind of said thank you, thanks for being here," Kepchar said.

Now Huck's family is thanking the firefighters who were so quick to respond.

"We're so grateful he was prepared to jump into the freezing cold water," Frey said, "I know it's kind of dangerous so maybe we will go down to the firehouse tomorrow to give him a special thanks."

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