ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — An Elizabeth City man lost his four-legged friend in an icy pond this week, and he’s hoping his story will urge others to be more cautious near frozen ponds and lakes.
Rodney Wagner brought his dog, named Chew It, to the Knobbs Creek Recreation Center off Ward Road Wednesday.
But by the end of the walk, Wagner’s favorite canine friend would be gone.
“He was the nicest dog you ever met in your life, even with children, adults, other animals,” Wagner said.
During their walk Wednesday, Chew It ran off, and fell into a frozen lake near the recreation center. There is an “L” shaped break in the water, and that is where Wagner says the dog struggled, pawed to get out.
“He never yelped or barked,” said Wagner. “The whole time he was in the ice he did not yelp, until I turned my back he started barking and yelping.”
Desperate, Wagner tried to run to get help.
“I felt like I was turning my back on my kid to him,” said Wagner. “When I came back he was all the way underneath the water. He was gone.”
“I thought they were coming to get my dog, and they were coming to get me,” said Wagner. “I was like, ‘No, I’m fine, except my heart is broke! Help me get my dog. Can you help me?’”
The worse part: Wagner says Chew It is still stuck underneath the frozen lake.
“I loved him so much,” said Wagner. “He was like family. He needs to be buried properly, and I need to say a prayer with him close.”
Wagner says once the lake thaws, he hopes to get Chew It’s body out and bury him near his house.
Wagner said Chew It got his name because he chewed anything he could get his paws on: “He would find your boot or your sock, and chew it up.”