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Dog Rescued from Icy Pond
KETTERING -- Many parents worry their children may fall through an icy pond during cold winter months, but in Kettering it was a pet dog. The incident didn't stop the local fire department from coming to the yellow lab's rescue.
Kettering Fire Department's Water Rescue crew responded to the pond behind the Kettering Recreation Center just before 11 on Saturday morning after someone called 9-1-1 for the dog.
"No no no this can't be happening you know ... my feeling was panic!" That was Debbie Burnside's reaction. It was her dog Butkus that needed rescuing.
"There's geese out there," she said about how it happened. "And he's being a retriever he took off! And just boom and he was running across the ice," she recalled.
She says it was cute at first, until Butkus couldn't get out of the water.
"I thought he could get out 'cause he can swim very well, but the ice was too thick and he couldn't get out."
Kettering's rescue crew was at the scene minutes later. With water temperatures just above freezing and a dangerous current from the pond's drainage, they decided for two swimmers to suit up for the rescue.
"If we didn't go in and make a rescue quick, the dog was going to succumb to the cold temperatures in the water," said Kettering Fire Battalion Chief Jon Durenberg.
It took crews about 5 minutes from when they started out on the ice to pull the dog back to safety.
Burnside said she was thankful that the medics heated up the back of the ambulance and towel dried her dog.
"We gave them a ride home then it was happily ever after I guess," Durenberg said.
For Burnside and dog Butkus, it was a warm and fuzzy ending to a chilling tale.
"My kids are grown and gone," Burnside said, "and he's my world, he's my life, it seems like. It's kinda weird to say about a dog but yeah he's my buddy."
Burnside added that the dog was in the water for less than a half hour when all was said and done.
Kettering firefighters also said a lucky chance helped them out in this rescue. They performed water rescue training in that same pond just a few weeks earlier.
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