ROCHESTER, Mass. - A local family is holding their dog tight after nearly losing him when he fell into the water.
The Rochester cranberry bog was nearly the end for a Brittany Spaniel named Murphy when a hunt for swans sent him plunging through ice an inch thick.
The dog had run off from his family and had been missing for a few hours. In the remote area, he might never have been found, but first responders say in a stroke of luck, someone was walking on a trail near the bog and heard the dog yelping for help.
"He was hanging on the ice and trying to dance his legs around, trying to get out and he just couldn't get up on top of the ice," said Fire Captain Jeff Eldridge.
Time was critical as the team of Rochester Firefighters suited up, with Capt. Eldridge balancing on an ice sled nearly 300-feet out in the water.
"I got out to the dog, it jumped right up on the sled with me and I called to shore and they started pulling me in," he said.
Eldridge tried to soothe the shivering dog as a crew on shore brought them in.
"I just wanted to make sure he thought everything was OK," said Eldridge.
After a medical check in the ambulance, it was time for a hot back as Murphy's family gratefully welcomed their pup back home.
"We have a great community, great first responders, and they did their job, which is awesome. What they're trained to do," said Dylan McCarthy.
A happy ending, but first responders say it's important that situations like these quickly turn dangerous for those on four legs - or two.
"It's really a lesson to all to understand that the ice is not safe at this time," said Rochester Fire Chief Scott Weigel.
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