A family from Wyoming, Michigan, is mourning the loss of 38-year-old Tracy Cashman, who lost her life while trying to save her dog from a frozen pond.
It was late evening on Dec. 8 when Cashman decided to take her goldendoodle named Lola out for a walk.
Since it was nearly 8:30 p.m. and dark out, it’s likely that Cashman didn’t intend for the walk to take longer than a few minutes — it was probably just a chance for Lola to release some energy before bed.
Cashman didn’t take her phone and didn’t even grab a heavy coat, meaning she must have planned to return home soon.
It was also likely that in the quiet of the night, Cashman felt comfortable letting her dog off leash, since not many people or animals would be out for Lola to interact with.
While nobody will ever know exactly what happened next, it’s likely that Lola seized her off-leash opportunity and headed straight for an icy pond, unaware of the danger that lurked.
As Lola fell through the icy pond, Cashman went in after her.
When the dog showed up at her house soaking wet, without her human, Cashman’s family knew something was wrong.
Cashman saved Lola’s life that night, but lost her own.
Police are still investigating Cashman’s exact cause of death, but her family says Cashman wouldn’t have thought twice about risking her life to save Lola’s.
“She would have never gone out on that ice if something tragic didn’t happen to that dog,” Cashman’s mother, Rhonda Moore told WOOD-TV.
“I mean, that dog must have broke the ice and gone under or she wouldn’t have been out there because she knows better.”
“But it’s instinct,” Moore said. “If it was a child, she would have gone out there. It was instinct for her.”
Cashman leaves behind three children, just weeks before Christmas. A GoFundMe account has been set up for the family to cover funeral expenses.
Moore is understandably concerned for the children’s well-being, saying their mom was “everything” to her children.
“I worry. She’s got two daughters and a son that now they have no mother,” she said. “It’s rough. She was everything to them.”
Cashman was a daily fixture at her job with the Godfrey-Lee Public Schools for over 15 years, where she worked in the administrative office.
Superintendent Kevin Polston praised Cashman for her work, saying she had a “big heart for kids.”
“She was quick to notice a student that needed a smile or an extra hand,” Polston said. “Students found her to be a trusted friend at school that they could count on when they needed her.”
Our hearts go out to Cashman’s family during this time.
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