HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – A Hot Springs man is hugging his dog a little tighter after a police officer rescued both of them from a frozen pond.
As the snow started falling, DeVon Fowler’s fourteen-month-old dog Max was having a blast sniffing through the powder. Suddenly his nose took him too far.
“The pond looked like land and he just kept running right out onto it and went about 20 yards out and he just fell through,” Fowler said.
As he tried to reach his dog, Fowler called 911.
“Asked them to send animal control out and they said well in this weather it may be a while. I said ‘well send someone over to check on me I’m going in,'” Fowler said.
Taking man’s best friend to a whole new level, he crawled out on the ice to get Max himself.
“I was about five yards from him, and the ice started cracking underneath me and I’m like well here we go,” Fowler said.
About that time, Hot Springs Police Officer Tyler Ward pulled up. Ward stayed on shore and coached Fowler on how to get Max back on land.
“He pushed the dog to me. It slid a little ways, didn’t break the ice and I started calling to the dog and I said ‘come on, come on. come on,'” Ward said.
Ward pulled Max to safety, but Fowler was still stuck in the freezing water.
“I was so tired I was ready to stop, and he was very encouraging telling me that was a bad idea and to keep moving and not stand there in the water and freeze to death,” Fowler said.
Grabbing two rocks and throwing them at the ice, Ward cleared a path for Fowler.
“As he got closer, I was able to peel my jacket off and step down in the water. I threw him my jacket he grabbed it, pulled him to me,” Ward said.
Now Fowler and his buddy Max are back home holding each other a little tighter. It’s all thanks to the officer who showed up at the right time.
“We’re lucky to have somebody like Officer Ward in this neighborhood,” Fowler said.
While this story has a happy ending, Hot Springs Police encourage others to please wait for law enforcement before going in the water.