Aug 1, 2009
The breed that normally rescues people in cold weather had to be rescued at the Peter Yegen Jr. Golf Club in Billings, Montana. A 16-month-old St. Bernard named Duke had fallen through the ice on a pond, climbed out, and sat down on the ice. His wet backside then froze to the ice, leaving him immobile.
Two firefighters in dry suits pushed an ice rescue sled over about 10 feet of hip-deep water and 10 feet of ice to reach Duke, who was shivering and occasionally whining.
After trying to free the tail with water and a crowbar-like Haligan tool, firefighter Brandon Fleury broke the ice around Duke’s tail with a mallet while firefighter Ben Jares held onto the dog by his collar.
They got the shivering animal onto the sled and were hauled back to shore by seven other firefighters who had arrived.
It took four firefighters – one just to hold up the tail with the large chunk of ice attached – to lift the 118-pound dog into a waiting golf cart.
(image credit: Casey Riffe/Gazette)