A 15-month-old French Bulldog named Cleopatra is chilly but otherwise unhurt after a rescue from Chebacco Lake on Friday.
The Hamilton Fire Department was called at about 3:45 p.m. after Cleopatra got loose.
“I heard her yelling,” said her owner, Wendy Pallazolla, who lives on the lake and looked out to see Cleopatra on the island.
It took about 30 firefighters from Hamilton and Essex more than an hour to complete the rescue, which was coordinated from the on Chebacco Road. Crews from Hamilton and Essex also stood by at the end of Wood Drive, near the Essex and Hamilton town lines, in case the rescuers needed backup.
A Zodiac boat was pushed across the ice until the ice wasn't strong enough to hold it.
“It gets to the point where you can’t stay on the ice and you still have to get to the water,” said Lt. Ray Brunet, who was in charge of the rescue.
Rescuers Ryan Goodwin and Skip Mullen motored the Zodiac through the soft ice until it got to the open water that surrounded the island.
By 5 p.m. Cleopatra was back on the mainland again.
Brunet said it is important to rescue a dog, since if firefighters hadn’t got out there to get her a person probably would have.
“If we didn’t go out there now for the dog we would have been out there for a person later,” Brunet said.
Coincidentally, Essex and Hamilton firefighters will be conducting previously scheduled ice rescue training at the boat ramp on Saturday.
Once Cleopatra was back on shore, she was hugged and wrapped warmly in a blanket by her owner, Mike Pallazolla, who brought her to the warmth of his truck.