Tahoe Samaritans lend a hand, gain new friends
It wasn’t the anniversary Kathy and Mark Ahumada had envisioned.
In celebration of their first five years together, the San Francisco couple rented a Tahoe Keys cabin from friends.
On Friday, anxious to get out in the new snow that had fallen the night before, the two set out for a walk along the Upper Truckee River.
“We had to bring our dog Scooter with us,” said Mark. “We don’t have any kids – Scooter is our kid.”
Having never seen snow before, the 15-month-old Labrador-shepherd mix took off running. Spotting open water, Scooter bounded toward it, and suddenly dropped out of sight.
After calling out to him several times, the Ahumadas ran to the river bank.
“We heard him splashing and barking, but we couldn’t see him,” Mark said. “He was under an overhang of snow.”
Scooter had fallen through a thin layer of ice, unable to escape. “I panicked – I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “I don’t swim and my wife was hysterical. I started yelling for help.”
Quickly, Kathy flagged down a passing car. South Tahoe residents Steve Patmore, Sergio Rivera and Drew Seitz grabbed two shovels and ran out to the floundering pooch.
After frantically digging a slot in the deep overhang, Rivera and Seitz held Patmore by the ankles and dangled him over the water. Patmore was able to grab 90-pound Scooter by the collar and haul him out of the icy hole. The South Lake Tahoe Fire Department arrived shortly after the rescue.
“Coming from a big city, you just don’t see responses like that from the fire department – a murder maybe,” Kathy chuckled afterward. “We’re very thankful for everybody.”
“Pretty impressive – (Patmore) pulled him out with one arm,” Mark said. “I gave those guys 100 bucks. We came close to blowing our fifth anniversary – there will probably be a bunch more anniversaries too – with Scooter.”
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