By Laura Simpson
After six days on the run, Teddy, an 18-month-old Bernese Mountain Dog, fell through thin ice on Sunday in an accident that almost took his life. The dog, who clearly borrows the nine lives of a cat and the bulky body of a small bear, is now recovering from his ordeal as an entire town breaths a sigh of relief.
It all began about a week ago when the newly adopted Teddy bolted past his ‘mom’ as she was taking her young child out of the car. Teddy took off like a shot, beginning a search that would capture the interest of the entire city.
“You wouldn’t believe how many phone calls we had about Teddy,” explained Alison, a representative from Maggie’s Food for Pets, a shop that displayed Teddy’s missing posters with the hopes of turning up leads. “So many people have been worried and calling in to see if he’s been found yet.”
Officer Jim Bartlett of the West Boylston Police Department was involved in the search for Teddy.
“His owner had been calling here three times a day,” Officer Bartlett explained. “There were several sightings of Teddy. We’d get glimpses of him but when we’d call to him he would run the other way.”
But on Sunday, a local ice skater headed down to a pond and was startled to see that a large animal had fallen through the ice.
“Some guy went down to the brook to go skating. He thought it was a bear out there,” Officer Bartlett said. “I recognized him from his poster. It was Teddy.”
“All the credit goes to the West Boylston Fire Department for saving his life,” said Officer Bartlett, who caught those incredible moments on camera.
Indeed the West Boylston Fire Department, who trains for rescues like these, immediately went to work, making the mission look deceptively easy. Watch this video of Teddy’s rescue from the pond.
Teddy’s guardian, Mark Lange, reports that Teddy is doing well despite losing a little weight. Teddy was treated at the Tufts University Foster Hospital for Small Animals.
“Thanks to all of you who helped my family this past week, especially today,” Mark said in a note on the Granite State Dog Recovery Facebook page. “Once he warms up, we’ll have an idea if he has any issues, but for now he seems to be doing great.”
Thanks to the West Boylston Fire Department for risking their own lives to save Teddy.
Every year pet owners and good Samaritans die in attempts to rescue animals or people who have fallen through the ice. Victims have been known to succumb to hypothermia in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. The first course of action is always to call emergency personnel.