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Meet The Puggle Saved From The Lake

It was a dramatic scene that ended well when a Westchester resident went out on the frozen lake in a kayak to save his dog Jack Bauer.

Turns out even a character like Jack Bauer needs rescuing sometimes.

“I am the man in the kayak,” Paul Rachlin in an email to Patch introducing himself and the dog he went out on the ice to rescue in Westchester Sunday.

Rachlin said that when the beagle/pug mix, named Jack Bauer after the 24 star, ran off onto the ice and then fell into the frigid waters of Tarrytown's Upper Lake about 100 feet from shore, he had no choice but do all he could – which was to go home and get a kayak.

An experienced kayaker, he took “a number of precautions” before setting out on the ice, including wearing a life jacket.

“I did not believe my dog would have survived much longer in the frozen water so I feel the action of my wife, Tricia, and I took was reasonable under the circumstances," he said.

His wife called 911 around 1:40 p.m. as a precaution, said Rachlin, while he began “shimmying along the ice in the kayak" toward the dog. He managed to get the dog into the boat and then make his way back to shore.

“At no time was I personally in any distress or danger,” he said, expressing only gratitude for the fire and police crews, as well as DPW foreman Scott Weaver, standing by if anything went wrong.

"Everyone on the scene was really great and happy Jack Bauer was saved," though Rachlin admitted there was some confusion with some who thought he was out kayaking for fun.  

Fire Chief Eugene Gasparre again voiced his concern that Rachlin made the rash move to go out on the ice at all, when falling through, catching hypothermia and drowning are real risks. 

"People should stay off the unsupervised lakes, and call for help immediately," Gasparre cautioned.

Jack Bauer was treated for hypothermia at the Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital but reportedly recovered quickly and was discharged the same night, having suffered only the loss of a nail from his struggle on the ice.

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Lisa Gentes-Hunt (Editor) February 05, 2013 at 11:14 PM
Very glad there was a happy ending to this story!! But like the Fire Chief said, folks should "stay off the unsupervised lakes, and call for help immediately."

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