Prairie du Chien firefighters save dog and get plenty of kisses in return

The dog fell through the ice while retrieving a stick

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. (WKBT)- Talk about right place right time.  The Prairie du Chien Fire Department was in training Saturday, March 6th, when they got a real emergency call. Firefighters saved a life and got plenty of kisses in return.

The spring thaw is happening fast; too fast for a family playing fetching on the backwaters on the Mississippi River. Their black lab ran out onto the ice to retrieve a stick and fell right through. “He tried putting his paws on the ice but couldn’t pull himself up.”, says Assistant Fire Chief Steve Rickleff. 

 The dog’s owner called 911 and the entire volunteer fire department, training a few miles up the road, showed up to help. “I ran up to the station and grabbed the ladder truck.”, says Lt. Tim Deluhry.  Firefighters used the ladder to go straight out, over the broken ice and over the top of the dog.  “He growled a little bit when we first got out there.”, says Deluhry. 

The lab was struggling to keep his head above water when Rickleff pulled him out of the water and into his arms. “I just reached out and was able to grab him by the collar. He was glad to be out of the water.”, says Rickleff.

The one hundred pound lab was exhausted and cold, but otherwise okay. When firefighters were headed back to shore, they finally learned the dog’s name; Clyde. “Clyde was very receptive to us once we got in the basket, shaking his tail. Clyde just wanted to be petted. He came back more than once.”, says Rickleff. 

The tail wags were followed by lots of puppy kisses, and plenty of thanks from Clyde’s owner. “It’s awesome. I have dogs myself. It’s near and dear to my heart.”, says Rickleff. A good dog retrieved from the water by his new best friends. 

Firefighters say Clyde’s owner did the right thing by calling for help. The ice is not safe for humans or mans best friend