Jack Culley’s dog, Sadie, enjoys chasing after the birds around Cleveland Pond at Ames Nowell State Park. But on Monday it almost resulted in disaster.
The 2-year-old black lab bounded away from Culley while chasing after some swans, got too far out on the ice, and fell through. It took an Abington firefighter wading through hip deep water, breaking the ice as he went, to rescue Sadie just in time.
“I’m so grateful,” a relieved Culley said about the fire department’s response. “She was struggling.”
Culley said he and Sadie had walked around Cleveland Pond to the western shoreline, near where the power lines run over the inlet. Sadie, who was off leash, ran off across the ice after a few swans.
“Usually she comes right back,” Culley said.
But with Monday’s temperatures reaching 50 degrees, Sadie went through the ice almost three-quarters the way to the far shoreline.
Culley waited a few minutes hoping Sadie could pull herself out. When it was evident she couldn’t, Culley called 911. Because of the location, Abington Fire mustered off Chestnut Street and used its brush truck and an ambulance to transport personnel down the rocky access road under the power lines to the pond’s edge.
Abington Fire responded within minutes, but to Culley, who was stuck on shore watching Sadie struggle, “it felt like an eternity.”
After being pulled out Sadie was able to walk the mile back to the park’s main gate where she and Culley got a quick check from Abington parademics. Despite some wet fur, Sadie’s tail was wagging as she hopped in the back of Culley’s truck. Culley, however, appeared a bit exhausted.
“Be sure you tell them how garteful I am to the fire department and police,” he said.