Dog rescued from Ice Creek

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 14, 2007

COAL GROVE — He was cold, wet, muddy and shivering with happiness.

A year-old black Lab-mix rescued mid-morning Friday from an island in the backwater of Ice Creek had spent at least one night in the frigid cold, barking hysterically at times, begging for help.

Thursday as temperatures fought to get in the upper 20s,

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Brenda Wood, office manager at Leading Respiratory Services, Inc., in Coal Grove and Tonya Compliment, a customer service representative, were sweeping frozen snow off the office’s front steps when they heard the frightened cries of a dog.

Through the trees, they could see a small black dog trapped on land surrounded by the backwater.

Colleagues at the health care business scrambled down the bank and tried to coax the dog to them, but he was apparently too scared to jump into the water and swim to safety.

What was needed, they thought, was a boat.

Pat Large, marketing director for Leading Respiratory, contacted the Lawrence County’s Sheriff’s Department, but was told their boats had been put up for the season. She was referred to the Department of Natural Resources.

Leading Respiratory then contacted Vicki Jenkins, a member of the circulation department of The Ironton Tribune. Bonita Creger, an advertising specialist at the newspaper, called Coal Grove Mayor Larry McDaniel, who then called out the fire department.

Brian Sherman and Scott Sturgill of the Coal Grove Fire Department manned the oars of a small boat that slowly moved through the murky water Friday morning. Seeing the dog — that looked like a black dot from the overpass at South Third Street — they veered toward the left fork of the creek, but the water flowed like a maze over the shrub-covered land.

They rowed back to the bridge and ventured down the right fork. Waiting on the bank were members of the fire and police departments. When the dog saw the boat, it jumped into the water and into the arms of a rescuer on the bank.

Soon, it was cuddled by Large, who is also a volunteer for the Shawnee Animal Clinic that operates Sierra’s Haven, a Scioto County shelter that finds homes for abandoned pets.

An hour after the rescue, wearing a donated worn red collar, the lab, now christened Samson and showing signs of possible abuse, was curled up on a rug inside the office. Large said she would be finding a good home for the dog.

As to name, Wood explained, “We named him Samson, because it took the will of Samson to survive.”