A dog's best friend proved to be Westport firefighters wearing cold-water protective gear Wednesday morning.
The lucky dog had plunged into an icy Hales Road pond after wandering onto thin ice still covering the small body of water.
Firefighters were called about 10:30 a.m. to the floundering dog, which was unable to get out of the water on its own. The crew dispatched to the scene donned their cold-water suits and, tethered to land by a rope, headed into the frigid water to the animal.
The dog was quickly rescued from the pond and turned over the town's animal-control officer, who brought it to a veterinarian for evaluation.
Firefighters said the incident should serve as a warning to people to carefully evaluate the safety of ice before venturing out. They also point out that, under similar circumstance, a call to "911" is the best way to rescue a person or animal in distress, and not to attempt a rescue themselves. National figures show that about two-thirds of would-be rescuers become victims themselves, according to firefighters.