Dogs rescued on Chub Lake after falling through iceChub Lake homeowner Mike Aili had seen two golden retrievers run across the frozen lake and back on Sunday, May 12. It wasn’t until he was working out in his yard around 11 a.m. when he heard the two dogs barking frantically in the distance.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
Chub Lake homeowner Mike Aili had seen two golden retrievers run across the frozen lake and back on Sunday, May 12. It wasn’t until he was working out in his yard around 11 a.m. when he heard the two dogs barking frantically in the distance.
As he looked out across the water, he spotted the two dogs and saw they had fallen through the ice about 300 yards off shore. Aili ran inside and got his son Erik. The two then rushed to the water and got into an old 12-foot rowboat — with even older oars — to row out and try to save the dogs.
“We had to break the ice with our oars as we went along,” related Erik. “It was about two inches thick, and we actually broke one of the oars.”
He said it took the two of them about 20 minutes to slowly work their way out to the dogs, and just before they arrived they could hear the sirens of the Carlton Fire and Rescue squad who had just arrived as backup in case the men found they were in any trouble.
Erik said when they arrived at the hole in the ice where the dogs had broken through, the two animals were swimming around, trying to get up on the ice and then sliding back down into the icy water. He was able to grab both golden retrievers by the collars and get them into the boat safely.
“You could tell one of the dogs was in great distress, he was barely staying above water,” said Erik, “but the other dog acted as if it was a game of fetch.”
He said the dogs were very cold and they shivered the entire way back to shore, where they were greeted by Nick Schlafer of the Carlton Rescue squad.
“If it was not for their quick actions, the dogs probably would not have made it,” Schlafer commented.
The Ailis said they did not know who the dogs’ owners were, but stated they had seen the dogs around the neighborhood in the past. The dogs were turned over to Carlton Rescue.
Mike and Erik Aili were matter-of-fact about their role in the rescue.
“I know if it were my dogs I would hope someone else would do the same,” said Eric. “I’m glad a Mother’s Day wasn’t ruined by losing a family member.”
Though most of the ice in area lakes has gone out since then, authorities remind people of the dangers of the thinning and deceiving ice, especially when it comes to pets, advising owners to keep an eye on them or keep them leashed at all times.