Billings Firefighters rescue Duke from the IceDuke, a 16-month-old 118-lb St. Bernard is safe and warm today thanks to the heroic efforts of firefighters from Billings Fire Department.  Duke decided to take an adventurous romp by slipping out of his back gate last Thursday night his owner, Gene Larson, believes.  After hunting for him that night, the family finally went to bed, hoping their big baby would be back in the morning.

Duke, icy and cold, but safe after his rescueWell, Duke was found Friday morning, but not at home.  About 9 am a worker at a nearby golf club spotted Duke sitting on the ice of a golf course pond.  Rescuers believe that Duke’s adventure took him wandering onto the ice where he broke through.  He was able to get himself out of the water but once he sat down on the ice, he was stuck, froze to the ice by his wet fur.  The poor pooch sat there much of the night.

In come the firefighters who donned dry suits, equipped with tools and and an ice rescue sled.  They broke the dog free of the ice got him on the sled and back to land.  He was quickly identified by collar and tags and taken to Big Sky Pet Center where he was thawed out and warmed up with a blow dryer.

Duke, safe at home with his familyLawson, who had been looking for Duke was contacted and reunited with the prodigal pooch. “He’s my little buddy,” Larson said, before correcting himself. “He’s my big buddy.”

That is one lucky dog and what wonderfully heroic firemen! To them, the rescue wasn’t about “just a dog” but about a living creature in dire straits who needed their help. They risked their lives to save Duke and there is no doubt that the Larsons are extremely grateful and hopefully this will teach Duke to end his wandering ways.

Big Kudos to the heroic folks at the Billings Fire Department!!

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