WATCH: First Responders Rescue Dog Stranded on Chunk of River Ice

by Suzanne Halliburton

It was a complicated and chilly dog rescue.

Lola, a terrified chocolate Lab, was stranded on a chunk of slippery ice in a frigid North Dakota River. A group of firemen proved to be her very best friend.

The intricate rescue happened earlier this week. The Cass County Sheriff’s office posted the rescue video on its Facebook account. News of the dog rescue was making news across the country. There was a happy ending, but it certainly wasn’t simple.

Dog Rescue Was Prompted By 9-1-1 Call

Here’s how it unfolded.

A woman out on a walk spotted Lola trying to stand on a piece of ice in the Sheyenne River in Horace, N.D. . The woman had no idea how to get the poor dog to the shore. So she called 9-1-1.

Members of the West Fargo Fire Department and the Cass County Sheriff’s office responded to the call.

How do you rescue a dog in this icy predicament? It took about 20 minutes to bring Lola to safety.

“The dog was pretty much in the dead middle of the river,” said Cass County Deputy Craig Keller. “I’d say it was approximately 30 feet from the shoreline. 20 to 30 feet.

Keller continued: “West Fargo rural fire was able to deploy two of their firefighters into the river with their water suits and one of the firefighters was able to climb on to the ice chunk in the middle of the river, take possession of the dog, and was able to safely be pulled back to the shore by his fellow firefighters.”

When the first fireman reached Lola, he had to earn her trust. The poor, frightened dog had her tail tucked between her legs. She kept backing away. Meanwhile, the fireman was on his belly. He finally was steady enough to get on his knees. Walking upright on the ice wasn’t an option.

He carried Lola into the water. Another fireman then helped get the two to shore. From there, it still wasn’t simple. The shore was muddy. Another fireman almost face-planted as he tried to help.

Lola And Her Human Were Reunited

From there, it didn’t take long for a happy ending. The phone number of Lola’s human was on Lola’s collar.

“The owner was quite grateful,” Keller said. “The dog seemed to be happy to be back with its owner as well. Obviously we do have the ordinances in Cass County as far as leash laws and animals running wild so we talked the owner about that and made sure he’s aware of those.”

Since Lola can’t talk, no one will know how she managed to be stranded on some ice. Labs love water. But Lola probably never will love icy water.