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Boy saves dog

Cory Fisher

A South Lake Tahoe boy has been credited for saving the life of a German shepherd that fell through some ice Sunday.

Charmaine Gordon grew concerned when her dog, Max, didn’t return to her Anita Drive home near the Tahoe Keys.

“I know Max likes to chase birds out by the lagoon,” Gordon said. “So a friend and I decided to walk out there and look for him.”

As the two approached the lagoon, they heard 13-year-old Michael Chatfield’s cries for help.

“Michael was laying out wood planks, hoping the dog would climb on,” Gordon said. “He was smart to call out and not try to go in the water.”

Gordon’s friend, Phil Gurian, was able to wade in and extricate the panicked dog, who had been in the icy water roughly 15 minutes.

“But it was Michael who saved Max,” Gordon said. “We wouldn’t have known if not for his call – we’d been looking all over for him.”

Max’s close call is one of at least three similar incidents reported this winter. In March, a dog owner spent more than two hours trapped below a snow bank in waist-deep water after rescuing her pet.

Gordon says she’s now learned her lesson.

“This time of year you can’t leave dogs unsupervised,” she said. “Frozen surfaces are very unpredictable.”

A recent widow, Gordon said Max serves as her constant companion and protector.

“Max is very precious to me. There’s no way I can express my feelings to Michael,” she said. “What a smart boy. He saved my German shepherd’s life. I’ll always be very grateful.”

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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