Crew gets the dogs out

Team effort rescues two frisky Labradors from fate of icy pond

January 08, 2002|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Nicholas and Alexandra were conked out on a warm floor yesterday, sleeping after a night's ordeal that began when they bolted past the gate of their Westminster-area home, ran into woods and fell through ice on a pond - leading to an improvised canine rescue by state police and a sheriff's deputy.

The adventure of the black Labrador retrievers began about 8 p.m. Sunday, when they escaped as their owner Bill Schroeder was shoveling snow with his wife, Jane, and daughters Clare, 13, and Beth, 10, at their home in the Carriage Hill community off Gorsuch Road.

"They're sneaky like that: They wait for the gate to open," Schroeder said yesterday.

About half an hour later, state police at Westminster received a call about something in a pond splashing and howling, a quarter- mile away in the 1700 block of Brehm Road.

Trooper John Hill arrived first, saw the two black dogs in the middle of the pond and called for backup. Troopers Edward Winkler and Jason Crowe, Sheriff's Deputy Bruce VanLeuvan and Hill used an aluminum rowboat, with boards as makeshift oars, and a rope - and got the dogs out after about 20 minutes.

"It was real nice teamwork," said Hill. "We all got a little bit wet."

The bigger dog - the 4-year-old male - ran away, he said, but the little female was in bad shape, "gurgling," and was taken to Humane Society of Carroll County Inc. Police did not know where she belonged.

Her owners "were looking all night," Schroeder said.

Yesterday morning, the Schroeders called the humane society and located 1-year-old Alexandra, also known as "Allie." A local radio station ran a missing-dog alert for Nicholas. About 45 minutes later, the station received a call that he was sitting in someone's yard about a quarter-mile away on Gorsuch Road.

"I want to say this was just a community effort. It was just awesome," said Schroeder. "Everybody's fine. They ate and drank about a half a gallon of water, and neither one of them has moved since."

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