Colorado Man Dies Saving Dog

A Fountain, Colorado man died Saturday after falling through thin ice at a local park while rescuing his dog. The victim, later identified as William Tuttle, was taken to Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a few hours later, and his grieving children say they are comforted by the final words of their hero dad. Witnesses say Tuttle was seen crawling onto thin ice in an attempt to coax his dog, Brock,  back to shore.  As he neared the dog, the ice gave way, plunging Tuttle and Brock into the frigid water.

Casey O’Malley, who was fishing nearby, told 11 News it was heartbreaking to watch. “He got down on his hands and knees, and then walked out towards and to the dog. At that point the owner did fall through the ice. Him and the dog struggled for a second. The owner was able to get the dog up onto the ice.”

Tuttle’s final act was one of love: just before he went under, he was able to make one last push and get Brock back on solid ice. Unfortunately, he was unable to fight the effects of the cold, and slipped under the ice. The frightened dog reached the safety of shore just as his owner perished.

Tuttle’s nephew said the selfless instinct Tuttle displayed in rescuing his dog was typical of the kindhearted man. “He was always a caring person, there to help anyone who needed it.”

It took rescuers 90 minutes to locate Tuttle and free him from the ice at Willow Springs Pond. All attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. Daughter Megan Tuttle was with her father at the time of the tragedy, and said the last thing he said to her was that he loved her.

“I told him I love him too,” said Megan. “It’s so hard. He’s not here anymore. He was such a great man. You would never see him without a smile on his face. He was always so happy. He would help anybody out if they needed it.”

William Tuttle had brought the puppy home just three weeks ago, and the entire family fell in love with the happy youngster. “He (Brock) would come running to my room and jump on the bed and start licking me, like hey wake up, wake up,” said Megan. “And he would wake up everybody in the house. And my dad’s like ‘see he loves you guys.’”

William Tuttle loved Brock too – so much so that he ultimately sacrificed his life for the cherished family pet. And while each winter season prompts a new round of media warnings reminding pet owners not to follow dogs onto thin ice in an attempt to save them, most dog owners can relate to Tuttle’s sacrifice.

Another couple walking their boxer puppy around the pond was interviewed by a local news affiliate, and a man told reporters that despite knowing the risks involved, he would likely do the same thing if faced with a similar situation. “Honestly, I’d have to try and save the dog,” said Dan Mathis.

Tuttle’s son Taylor, 16, is mourning the loss of the father that he calls a great man, and says critics of his decision to risk his life for a dog just don’t understand the power of one’s love for a pet. “He’s my angel right now. He is. It wasn’t stupid. He did what he had to do.”







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10 comments

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    January 16, 2012 12:18 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Mary

    what a great man!!

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  • January 16, 2012 12:55 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Debbie

    What a sad, sad occurrence; my heart and prayers go out to this good man’s family. Life is not fair and this hero will be missed very much.

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    January 16, 2012 1:29 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Tracey

    My condolenses to your family Mr. Tuttle. I hope that they will heal soon. I am happy that they have the pup that you gave your life for.

    Everyone please be careful out there!

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    January 16, 2012 4:27 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    Sadly, the type of person we need in these world is now gone. The world breaks everyone and the ones it can’t break, it takes and those are the unconditionally good, the selfless and the heroic.

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    January 16, 2012 8:29 pmPosted 2 years ago
    kris

    I wholeheartedly understand Mr Tuttle’s heroic act. There is no doubt in my mind I would, without hesistatIon, would risk my life To save my dogs. I am so sorry for the family’s painful ordeal. I think it’s Wonderful he saved Brock so the family will see the depth of goodness and love Mr Tuttle showed he had. My prayers are with you all.

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    January 16, 2012 11:11 pmPosted 2 years ago
    SAmantha

    I completely understand his sacrifice. My pets are just like my babies. I wouldve done the same thing.. GOD be with you and your family… My prayers are with you…

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    January 19, 2012 12:00 amPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    This is a heart warming tail despite the fact that a noble human beings life was lost.

    When seeing the name Tuttle though I’m only hoping that this isn’t a farce because, Tuttle was the name of a character in the TV show M*A*S*H that was generated by Hawkeye’s imagination. He later “died” and left a generous donation to an orphanage.

    I hope that this is not a sad joke.

    I wish all the best to Tuttle’s surviving family. Cherish your new beloved pet and know that your husband/father made a courageous sacrifice for you all. Know that there will always be a little Tuttle in all of us…

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      January 19, 2012 12:04 amPosted 2 years ago
      Anonymous

      This sure does look real…my condolences to the family. Multiple sites seem to prove that this is true. My heart breaks for this family.

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    January 20, 2012 1:54 amPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    Mr. Tuttle is a hero. He gave his life to save a beloved family member. I would do the same thing for any of my furkids.

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    January 20, 2012 7:03 amPosted 2 years ago
    Belinda

    This is my city; just found out we knew this man; he worked at our local liquor store…..RIP Will…..thank you for caring for animals…we will miss your sarcastic jokes and will miss seeing you behind the counter…..

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