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Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014

Josie the dog has a close call

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The trust of a dog was put to the test a few weeks ago when Chana Marshall's dog Josie fell through the ice. It all started out innocently enough when Chana took the basset mix dog R.J. and his sister, Josie, out to her folks' farm at Devon to give them some exercise. As she headed out the door, her dad said, "Keep them away from the pond," referring to the ice. She did, but a few minutes into their walk, Chana looked and Josie was gone. Chana could see she was headed for the big pond in the next pasture. She yelled at her to come back, but by this time Josie was drawn to the pond. Josie ran onto the ice; the ice collapsed and Josie was swimming for her life.

At first Chana hoped that the dog could pull herself up on the ice and get out of the water, but it soon became evident that with Josie's little short legs, that wasn't going to happen.

Both of her parents were back at the house, so Chana ran as fast as she could to alert them, all the time making a lot of noise so the dog would know that help was on the way. Her dad rushed to get a boat so he could push it out on the ice. Meanwhile, Chana ran back to the big pond, all the time calling to Josie.

Knowing she couldn't wade into the lake with a pair of insulated coveralls on, she stripped down to her jogging pants and T-shirt and waded into the frigid water, breaking ice as she went, and all the time calling encouragement to the dog, who was sinking lower in the water. Josie appeared to make eye contact with Chana and then disappeared from sight. It became apparent that Josie had gone under the ice and was swimming for Chana. Chana kept hitting the ice, praying and calling to the dog, and all the time wading deeper and deeper into the water until it was above her waist. By now, she could see the dog swimming under the ice, coming toward her. Finally the dog got close enough that Chana hit the ice one more time and broke an opening, scooping Josie up into her arms.

The whole ordeal had gone on for about 30 terrifying minutes. It was hard to tell who was the happiest with the rescue, as the whole family had been involved in one way or another.

The Marshalls kept Josie on the loveseat in the basement for a couple of days, watching closely to see if there were any ill effects. Soon Josie was pestering R.J. and was back to her normal self. Thanks to the love of her owner and the trust of the dog, Josie is alive and well.

Dick Hedges
Fort Scott Community College