ALLEGAN, Mich. - A dog, which was stuck on a patch of land and ice in the middle of the Kalamazoo River, is safe tonight.
He was discovered, and saved, several days after getting out.
The rescue happened Wednesday just south of the M-89 bridge over the Kalamazoo River in the City of Allegan.
Three main tools Allegan Fire District used were a boat, rope and a lot of dog treats.
“At about 10:15 a.m. the police department had called me,” said Nick Brink, the Fire Chief of Allegan Fire District. “They said they had an animal in the water.”
Allegan Fire District rounded up its rescue team, to help respond to the calls about a dog in distress.
“It was very scared, as we got closer it would run away from us, it would come a little closer and then it would run back away," Brink said.
Crews had to gain the dog's trust, with treats.
"I keep a bucket of dog treats at my station,” Brink said.
They worked. The dog was captured after about two hours of coaxing.
“We took the dog with the boat across the water over to the shore and the police took it over to the humane society," Brink said.
Little did the department know, Spike’s family had been searching for him since he got out Friday.
“I told my daughter, she immediately started bawling, she dropped her book on the ground, she was distraught,” said Shawna Colburn, the dog's owner.
That night they drove around yelling his name.
“I looked up in the mirror, and she had her hands up over her ears and her eyes closed," Colburn said. "I said 'Syra what are you doing?' and her response was, 'I don't want to see him on the side of the road, mom.'”
The family put up fliers and posted on a community Facebook page, which received nearly 700 shares.
“She gets a message from somebody from one of the sites, and they said I have a friend who works close with somebody at the shelter," Adam Colburn said. "They said they just brought in a Black Lab/German Shepherd, and he was rescued from the river.”
A trip to the shelter was the best after-school surprise.
“All of a sudden we hear him bark, and Syra goes, 'is that spike?' she's jumping up and down, excited," Shawna Colburn said. "We said, 'they found him, he's here, he's safe, he's coming home.'”
Thanks to a community, that came together.
"He's a little skinny and stuff from all the running," Adam Colburn said. "Besides that he's good, slight ear infection, red eyes, he has antibiotics for both."
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