Colrain firefighters rescue dog from McLeod Pond

  • Dixie, a 9-year-old Pit Bull mix owned by Dr. Richard Warner, of Buckland, is tended to by EMTs in an ambulance after being rescued from McLeod Pond in Colrain by firefighters Thursday afternoon. Courtesy photo/Colrain Firefighters’ Association

  • Dixie, a 9-year-old Pit Bull mix owned by Dr. Richard Warner, of Buckland, rests comfortably with a blanket after being rescued from the icy waters of McLeod Pond by the Colrain Fire Department on Thursday evening. Warner said Dixie is doing fine and is in good health. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/DR. RICHARD WARNER

Staff Writer
Published: 12/10/2020 10:00:08 PM

COLRAIN – Dogs are often described as man’s best friend. On Thursday, one canine had some friends in Colrain firefighters when they rescued her from the icy water of McLeod Pond.

Crew members responded to the end of Stacy Road after the emergency call about a dog through the ice came in at 4:12 p.m., according to a post on the Colrain Firefighters’ Association’s Facebook page. Dr. Richard Warner, of Buckland, had been cycling with his dog, Dixie, when the pooch ran off, only to be found whining and treading water in a hole in the ice about a half-hour later. Warner said he immediately called a friend about getting a ladder to the spot, but it was decided that was too risky and 911 was called.

Donning dry suits and life preservers, two firefighters used a collapsible ladder to crawl roughly 20 yards across the ice and pull the dog from the water. According to the Facebook post, crew members on shore then pulled the firefighters and the dog back to solid ground. An ambulance was waiting at the pond’s southern end roughly a quarter-mile away, where first responders used heated blankets to treat Dixie for hypothermia.

Warner said Dixie, a 9-year-old Pit Bull mix from North Carolina, spent an hour and a half in the frigid water and the two firefighters that rescued her had to wrap her in a sling to remove her from the pond because she was too weak to stand. He said the dog is now fine and there was no need to visit a veterinarian.

“You feel very helpless because there was nothing, really, I could do up there by myself,” said Warner, who lives and practices medicine in Buckland. “(The first responders) did an amazing job.”

He explained he was mountain biking in Catamount State Forest, “and Dixie loves to come along and run the trails.” On Thursday, however, she disappeared and ventured onto the frozen pond for unknown reasons.

Reach Domenic Poli at: or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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