I saw a story on the news this weekend about firefighters who staged a daring rescue of a dog who had fallen through a frozen lake in Massachusetts.  Thanks to their heroic actions, the dog survived, but one of the firefighters was briefly trapped beneath the ice and had to be taken to a hospital to be treated for hypothermia.  I looked up the story online and noticed that the user comments fell squarely into one of two camps: there were those who were grateful to the firefighters for saving the dog’s life, and there were those who were angry and didn’t understand why a human being would risk their own life to save a dog.

Those of us who treasure our dogs, cats, and other animals as family members understand.  We can easily put ourselves in the shoes of the dog’s human family and shudder to imagine the panic they must have been feeling during the two-hour ordeal.  It must have been terrifying for them (and for the poor dog as well), and the gratitude they felt to the firefighters must have been beyond words.  I am extremely happy for them that their story had a happy ending.

That said, this incident was avoidable.  According to the fire lieutenant, the dog was not on a leash and traveled 300 feet onto the ice before he fell through.  Had the owners kept a leash on their dog, firefighters would not have had to risk their lives to enact this rescue.  Please, always obey leash laws.  If there are no leash laws in your area, use common sense. Never allow your dog off leash near an ice-covered body of water or any other potential hazard!