Firefighter jumps in partially frozen pond to rescue puppy

LAFAYETTE COUNTY, Miss. -- When she's not soaking up attention, 10-month-old Rose is soaking up water in her family's pond.

But last Thursday, it was clear to Rose's neighbors that her love of water had placed the golden retriever puppy in peril.

"My neighbor across there -- they were saying the dog was in the pond," said neighbor Lynn Burns.

The pond froze over and Rose fell through some thin ice.

One frantic phone call later, Jayson Gazaway arrived on scene.

"She had her front paws sitting on the water and was trying to climb up onto the ice, but she couldn't," said Gazaway.

Gazaway, a volunteer firefighter with the Lafayette County Fire Department, did what came naturally to him -- he jumped in to save Rose.

"It was very cold, but, at the time, I wasn't really worried about, you know, the water temperature or how cold I was. I was more focused on trying to get the dog out," he said.

Chest-deep in freezing water, Gazaway said used his tools to pick apart the ice as he waded 200 to 300 yards until he reached Rose.

"Once I got the ice broke to where she was, the dog was able to swim back towards the bank under her own power," he said.

"I guess the rest was history. The kids and everything, they was happy and that," said Burns.

As happy as Gazaway was, he shakes off the notion he did any more than the call of duty demanded.

"It's just something I needed to do," he said.