AVON — After her Barin terrier Sparky fell into a lake Wednesday night, 76-year-old Paula Gambacciani ran out onto the ice looking for the dog she had owned and loved for 16 years.
Sparky fell into the water near Lake Harbor about 10 p.m. Wednesday night after having an apparent seizure. After Gambacciani ran out to the ice to look for Sparky herself, neighbors called the Fire Department, which sent firefighters to Gambacciani’s aid.
The men ventured out to look for the dog, but couldn’t find Sparky.
On Thursday morning, however, firefighters Mike Panehat, Eric Dudziak, Jeff Collins and Sean Byrns returned, breaking through the ice in wet suits to pull Sparky’s body from the water.
“They put her in a box and wrapped her in a towel before they knocked on my door,” Gambacciani said, adding that the firefighters were sympathetic.
Gambacciani, who lives alone in Avon, said Sparky and her other dog, Chica, are her closest companions, adding that Sparky would even follow her around the house.
“She’s still my baby,” Gambacciani said.
She was touched by the kindness firefighters showed.
“More than anything, it was their compassion,” Gambacciani said.