Chloe's owners let the 16-year-old golden lab out Wednesday morning for what they thought would be a quick trip to relieve herself in their picturesque backyard overlooking a private pond.
She's old and not normally very adventuresome, her owners, George and Joni Sims told KCTV5.
Perhaps she chased a bird. Or a squirrel. Whatever, Chloe isn't barking out the truth.
But somehow she wound up on the icy Countryview Lake and broke through. She was surrounded by ice and trapped.
Beth Jacobi heard the dog's yelps about 10 a.m. Wednesday.
"I just heard this awful howling noise. And I thought it was like a cow or something back here dying or giving birth," Jacobi said.
She never imagined that it was a dog struggling to survive until about 20 minutes later she caught a glimpse of Chloe's head barely visible above the icy waters.
"I finally took a better look out there and I saw the dog in the water," she recalled. "I ran inside and grabbed my Dad and yelled, 'Dad, there's a dog in the lake!'"
John Applegate is a retired firefighter who heard Jacobi's cries for help. Applegate has rescued dogs from the pond before but it's been a bit. He grabbed his inner tube and they used it to try to paddle out to a fatigued Chloe.
But George Sims couldn't push through all the ice between himself and Chloe. Struggling but tiring, time was against Chloe.
"I was in tears. I was thinking what if it were my dog," Jacobi said.
Then KCK firefighters showed up and they provided the necessary equipment to ensure this story has a wagging tail ending.
They gave George Sims a pick axe. Balancing himself on the inner tube, he used the pick axe to break the ice as he shoved himself and the tube forward to his pooch.
"She was just trying to hang," one onlooker said. "She had a look of, 'Come on. Get me. Hurry!'"
George Sims yelled encouragement to his dog as he fought to get to her.
"Hang on Chloe! The charge is coming!" he exclaimed.
Once George Sims reached his dog, he grabbed her up by the scruff and yanked and jerked her against the tube and to the shore.
Exhausted and nearly frozen, a shivering Chloe couldn't stand. Bystanders rushed to shroud her with blankets and towels.
The Sims then took a grateful Chloe inside where they plopped her in front of a space heater to get warm beside her sister, Cocoa, a cocker spaniel. Chloe is expected to make a full recovery.
When KCTV5's Nima Shaffe went by the home, Chloe was at the door trying to nudge her way out with her nose.
Her owners were reticent to talk about the ordeal, but emphasized that they are grateful to all who helped this "ruff" story have a happy ending.
"I didn't think she'd make it. She's 16 years old," Jacobi said. "She's an old dog. She was out there for about an hour."
Countryview Lake is near North 109th Street and Countryside Drive.
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