Crew members assigned to Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay assist a dog Monday that they found stranded on the ice of Lake St. Clair, Mich. The dog, who the crew later named 'Lucky,' has been reunited with his owners. (Coast Guard via The Associated Press)
A Coast Guard icebreaker on its way to help a trapped vessel added an extra mission to its schedule Monday when the crew rescued a dog from the frozen surface of a Michigan lake.
The crew of the Detroit-based cutter Bristol Bay named the dog Lucky, after retrieving him from the ice about five miles from the lake’s shore, the Detroit Free Press reported.
On Lake St. Clair, the crew spotted what appeared to be foxes in the distance, Chief Public Affairs Specialist Alan Haraf said. When they got closer, they realized one of the animals was bigger than the others.
Three crew members walked across the ice to rescue the mixed-breed dog, lifting him onto a stretcher and bringing him back to the ship.
“It was cold, weak and tired,” Haraf said. “It may have been out there for a couple of days or so.”
“They noticed three burrows the dog tried to dig for itself for protection. They said the paws were bleeding and the nails were pretty much down to nothing.”
The crew administered first aid to the dog, gave him water to drink and fed him some chicken breast, Haraf said.
The Bristol Bay, a 140-foot-long tug designed to clear ice from Great Lakes channels, returned to its homeport Tuesday evening, where a crew member took the dog to a veterinarian, Food Service Specialist 1st Class Brian Essler said.
It wasn’t clear how the dog, who appeared to be about 13 years old, ended up on the lake, Essler said. He was wearing a harness and collar but no identification tags.
“Hopefully he’ll find a home,” Essler said. “He’s a darn good dog.”