Lifestyle & Human Interest

'Hero' Dog Notices Something Is Not Right, Alerts Owner to Man Trapped in Freezing Water


Thomas Walsh of Stoneham, Massachusetts, was out for a walk around Quarter Mile Pond on Wednesday with his 5-year-old dog, Diesel.

Like many, Walsh had earbuds in while walking, and wasn’t really paying attention to anything beyond the immediate area.

But Diesal was. He started to bark, watching something out on the pond until Walsh noticed and followed his dog’s cues.

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Apparently, a 22-year-old had decided to ride his bike over the icy water but fell through when he reached the middle.

“Ripping across right in the middle, he went right through, I’m surprised he didn’t go through near the edge,” Walsh told WFXT-TV.

“The dog alerted me that there was something going on in that water.”

Hesitant to enter the water himself because of the danger, Walsh first dialed 911 and then tried to coach the young man to help him get out of the frozen pond.

“I told him to try to relax, catch your breath because he was panicking, you know what I mean,” Walsh explained.

“My instinct was to go in and help him, I’m a great swimmer but you can’t do that in the winter time.”

“When he fell in that time there was another fellow walking through the woods, and I tied the dog to a tree and I grabbed a big branch from another tree and we threw it in and he was kinda too weak to grab onto it and pull it.

“So he finally held on with his other hand and we kinda just dragged him through the water and got him up on shore.”

According to the Stoneham Fire Department, the young man was injured but was taken to a hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

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“We are grateful for this outcome and for Diesel alerting his owner that something was wrong,” Chief Grafton said.

“The two men who helped the patient get to shore did the right thing by calling 911 immediately and using a branch to help pull him in rather than trying to get in the water themselves.

“These actions helped to save a man’s life this afternoon and are nothing short of heroic.”

According to Walsh, though, there’s just one hero, and it’s Diesel.

“He’s the hero today, because without him, seeing or hearing him I would have just kept walking,” Walsh said, according to WFXT.

“He’s the hero today, nobody else.”

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