Nov 16, 2012

Tara and Tiree

The REAL story of Tara and Tiree:


Ice Capade

Even with the temperature hovering at 35 below zero, dog trainer Jim Gilchrist of Innisfil, Out, decided to take his two pets-Tara, a rottweiler, and Tiree, a golden retriever-out for their usual afternoon walk on Feb.24,1995. After passing through the woods, they headed home across frozen Lake Simcoe. But as the dogs bounded ahead, Gilchrist, 61, felt the ice give way. "I was walking along and went 'pop' right through," he recalls. "It happened so fast. I thought, 'This could be the end.' "

Hearing her master's cries, Tara raced over, only to crash through herself. As they thrashed about, Tiree appeared. "All I could think was that she'd meet our same fate," says Gilchrist. Instead the whining dog crouched on her belly and crawled to the hole. As Gilchrist grabbed Tiree's collar, Tara scrambled atop his back to jump out of the hole. Then she lay on her belly alongside Tiree so Gilchrist could grab her collar with his other hand. While the 200-pound Gilchrist hung on, the dogs clawed backward until he was safe. "They had every right to run ashore," says Gilchrist, who, back home, gave his dogs a hot bath. "They risked their lives to save me."

Having since won several awards for heroism, Tiree, 2, is back to her happy-go-lucky self, but Tara, 5, "is paranoid now about water," says Gilchrist. Of course, so is he. "I will never go out on the lake when it's frozen—or let my animals."

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