Andy went to court in Helena yesterday and took Tank with him for the ride there and back.  Last time they did this they hit a deer and did a good $2000 worth of damage to the car and we were without the car for 10 days. 

This time they did not hit a deer. 

On their way back to the Gallatin Valley Andy stopped at a fishing access along the Missouri River to let Tank get out, stretch his legs and do his business. 

Although this is not the Missouri River (it’s the Gallatin), it demonstrates what the rivers around here are looking like these days with ice cover and open areas:


While Tank was tooling around Andy was reading a sign at the boat ramp.  (Tank is good at coming when called, and in an area like this is not required to be on a leash). Next thing Andy knows, he looks up and there is Tank, with two front paws and his chin on the edge of the ice shelf, rest of the body in the river.  Panic expressed on his face (as much as dogs can express panic).  Clearly, Tank was in trouble!

Two things to set the context emotional here – first, we have two friends who have lost their dogs to being washed under the ice on local rivers in the past five years or so.  It is not an uncommon experience here and really a tragedy!  Second, in the last couple of months there have been at least two news stories of people who died trying to rescue their animals in bodies of water, and that is what crossed Andy’s mind as he tried to figure out the best way to save Tank.

Andy contemplated heading out on the ice shelf to get Tank (crawling on his belly was his plan) because it didn’t appear that Tank had fallen through, just fallen off the edge.  But remembering the folks to perished trying to save their dogs he was concerned this might not be the best plan.

He looked down river, and there was an open spot in the water near the shore, and he thought maybe he could head down there and call to Tank.  Being that Tank is a large Lab, Andy thought he would be a strong enough swimmer to let go and navigate himself to the shore if Andy was calling to him and encouraging him in the proper direction.

But that wasn’t real appealing either because if Tank didn’t make it to that spot, who knew what would happen next.

So, Andy decided to see if he could encourage that big ol’ galoot of a dog to just climb back on the ice pack by saying “Com’on Tank!  Com’on Tank!”

After six attempts to pull himself up onto the ice, Tank was finally successful.

You can only imagine Andy’s relief.  He put Tank in the car, blasted the heater (that water is cold) and drove away from there as fast as possible.
When they got back to the office and relayed the story to me it sent chills up my spine.  Poor Tank could have been lost for sure!  I’m so glad he wasn’t!
I’m sharing this post withThis or That Thursdays  and Thursdays Favorite Things Hop – won’t you come join us?
Categories: Andy, Daily life, Outdoors, Photography, River, Tank, Thankful to God, This and That Thursdays, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Post navigation


  1. Glad Tank is ok-but I can’t say I blame Andy for not wanting to go in there after him…Brr!!

    • Oh Margie, going into the water after Tank (if that had happened) would almost certainly been the death of Andy. Hypothermia would have set in quickly, and the likelihood of Andy getting out alive would have been close to zero!

  2. Came over from SC forums. I’m SO glad Tank is ok! What a relief! My cat gets a scratch on his chin and I panic. I can’t imagine losing a pet member of the family this way. So awesome he was able to climb back up!

  3. Poor Tank! I’m glad there was a happy ending to this story! I would have panicked if it were me. Glad that Andy didn’t and came up with a solution that worked!

  4. So glad that Tank and Andy are okay! I can’t even imagine!

  5. Wow! I’m glad that story ended well/

  6. Happy ending! 🙂 Found you on Katherine’s corner and I would love to have you share this on The HomeAcre Hop!

  7. Pat

    How frightening! I am so glad that Tank was able to hoist himself out and that Andy didn’t have to put himself at risk. What a terrible choice he had to consider….

  8. Joanne diochon

    Thank heavens for a good ending to a bad situation. Poor Tank hope he is staying in and getting warm for the rest of the day.

  9. What a beautiful scene. Glad to read the story had a happy ending! Hopefully everyone is safe and warm!

  10. I am guessing that trips to the river have been shelved until Spring. Scary – glad Tank was okay.

  11. Tracie

    Glad both are home safely. What a beautiful photo 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: