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Dog rescued from Lake Eric by pet owner's cousin

8:08 AM, Dec 28, 2012   |    comments
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BOWNSTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WDIV) - A man in Michigan says he thinking of the "golden rule" when he jumped into a freezing lake to rescue a family member's dog.

If 11-year-old walker hound Bart could talk, he would have quite the story to tell.

"I kept my eyes off of him just for a second," said Jim Swayze, Bart's owner.

During an afternoon walk, Swayze's hunting dog wandered away and fell through the ice on Lake Erie. His two front paws kept him from sinking into the lake.

"I tried to walk around to him and just too deep, and I just couldn't get to him," Swayze said.

Waist-deep in the freezing water, Jim Swayze called 911 and then he called his cousin, Lance Eicher, who arrived first.

"I just wasn't thinking. I just wanted to try to rescue a friend of the family," Eicher said.

With his waders on, lance ventured out, taking a chance on every step.

"It broke and I fell in, and I was probably about three-and-half-foot deep," he said.

Lance Eicher finally reached Bart who spent an hour and half in the frigid water. He held him close before they were rescued.

"I was talking to him, I was trying to keep him warm. I was trying to rub him and get trying to get some blood flowing through his body," Eicher said.

This dog's tale comes with a happy ending.

"I kind of looked and went, 'You know what? What if it was my dog? What if it was my situation? I would hope somebody would try to do something,'" Eicher said.

Animal control officials at the scene said aside from being cold, Bart was not hurt.

WDIV

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