Wellesley woman rescues lab from pond, dog owners reminded to leash up near icy water

Jason Connelly says he and his wife Tina could not have had two more different days on Wednesday: There he was comfortably Zooming for work while Tina arrived home sopping wet and with bloodied hands after wading into a pond at Centennial Reservation to save another dog owner’s pet that had fallen through ice.

The scary incident serves as a reminder to keep pets leashed when near bodies of water while the ice is melting, as it’s doing during this week’s warm-up. While the air temperature topped 50 degrees in Wellesley today, the water temperature wasn’t close to that.

“She could feel herself getting numb, and the cold water was talking her breath away,” Jason says.

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Upon hearing a woman screaming about the dog, which had fallen through thin ice and drifted under the ice sheet on Benzanson Pond, Tina secured her own dog and waded in fully dressed.

She wound up swimming after a bit though because of all the muck at the bottom of the half-acre pond, which has an average water depth of under 3 feet and a maximum depth of about 6 feet. Once she got near the dog she wound up smashing the ice with her hands to free the animal, and get it back to shore.

The dog appeared fine, and the owner asked for Tina’s contact information to follow up with more thanks.

Jason described his wife as a good swimmer and comfortable around ice as part of a hockey family with two kids and 3 dogs. Still, it was a scary situation and all are relieved that everyone wound up OK.

Late last year, police and firefighters rescued an unleashed dog that broke through ice on the Charles River at Elm Bank Reservation.

Authorities discourage dog owners from unleashing their dogs near icy water, but urge the public to call 9-1-1 if a dog does get loose and into a dangerous situation.

“This is when I highly encourage everyone to keep their dogs on leash or a trained voice command,” says Wellesley Animal Control Officer Jenny Smith. “I never recommend letting dogs go out onto the ice. You never know how thin it is, especially with these warm days we’ve been having. Hopefully the ice will all melt away in the next few days and we will not have to worry about any other dogs falling in.”