We all love our dogs and cats, but how far would you go to rescue a beloved pet from danger? A Murfreesboro, Tennessee woman showed her mettle and selflessness when she jumped into a frozen swimming pool to rescue her dog. The heartwarming tale has a happy ending but it could just as easily have gone the other way for either Jennie Tatum or her dog Sid. When Jennie Tatum’s dog Sid fell into a frozen swimming pool he quickly disappeared. According to WTVFTV, she didn’t think twice about what to do. He was in trouble and she was going to do whatever was necessary to save his life. The swimming pool was covered with a layer of two-inch-thick ice. Tatum started breaking the ice to get a better view but at first, she couldn’t see him. By the time that she found him, he was almost unconscious. The dog weighed 50 pounds but she found the strength to haul him out of the pool and pull the pet to safety.
The only thing that saved the dog’s life was Tatum’s vigilance and her quick action. The dog was completely submerged in freezing water for a little over 60 seconds. Jennie experienced a rush of adrenaline that caused her to jump into immediate action. There wasn’t time to process or consider the dangers to herself. She had one thing in mind and in an adrenaline-induced frenzy, she responded instinctually. Tatum shared that she didn’t even think about the cold. When she couldn’t spot the dog immediately she jumped out and got a better view. When she located him she was back in the pool immediately. She took him into the house and made sure that he was able to take in oxygen. This helped to revive him. After warming him, Sid recovered.
We learned that the Tatum family had installed a heating pump to prevent ice from forming on the top of the swimming pool. It’s a year-round pool and that’s why it wasn’t drained. The Tatums knew that the pump had gone out and that the ice had developed on the top of the swimming pool. They had already called to schedule a repair service to come out and fix the problem. In the meantime, she kept a close eye on the dogs. If not for her attentiveness and watchful eye, the outcome would have almost certainly been tragic.
Dog safety around swimming pools
According to Blue Haven, Swimming pools present a constant danger for family pets. Pets die every year from preventable accidents. Here are a few tips for pet-proofing your swimming area all year round.
- Teach your dog how to swim – If you may teach all of your pets how to swim. Most dogs take to the water very well. Dogs that can swim are more likely to have the ability to save themselves if they fall into a swimming pool. This is true as long as there is not a cover over the pool or ice formed around the top. Some dogs are afraid of the water and others cannot and will not swim. This isn’t a foolproof strategy, it should be combined with several others to ensure the safety of your beloved pets.
- Provide an exit – Make sure that there is a way for your dog to escape the water on both ends of the pool. Ideally, your pool will have shallows on both ends that allow him to make it to a place where he can stand and climb out. Provide an exit that your pet is capable of using. You may want to consider installing a specially designed ramp that is wide enough for your pet to climb on if there isn’t an exit at the deep end. Make sure that the material it is made of is rough and textured so he can get a grip on the ramp and pull himself up to safety.
- Never allow your pets access to pools unsupervised – You should develop a foolproof method for blocking your pets’ access to the swimming pool when you are not nearby to supervise them. Accidents can happen in just a few seconds. You wouldn’t allow a child to be around a swimming pool unsupervised and your pets are no different. They are just as prone to falling in and accidentally drowning faster than you can walk from one room to another. If you do allow your pets near the pool, make sure that a responsible adult is supervising.
- Install safeguard barriers around the swimming pool – Another way to help keep your pets safe from swimming pool accidents is to set up some type of barrier around the pool area that they cannot cross. You might want to consider a pool fence. They come in a variety of colors, materials, and styles that are attractive and budget-friendly. They are designed to go up quickly and come down just as fast. It not only makes the pool area safer for your pets but also for children.
- Install a pool alarm – Pool alarms rely on motion detection technology that lets you know if a pet has fallen into the water. While it does little but sound an alarm, it will let you know if your pet has made it through your other safety measures and fallen into the water.
Sid was a lucky dog that is blessed with a brave and attentive owner. We owe it to our pets to take every precaution to keep them safe and healthy. Pool owners may want to consider taking extra measures to ensure that their pets do not have the horrifying and potentially deadly experience that Side and Jennie went through. It doesn’t take a lot of effort or expense to pet-proof your swimming pool.