NORWAY — A sweet deed deserves a sweet reward.
That's why Bruce Rowe delivered maple syrup and maple butter to a pair of men who rescued Rowe's dog, Micah, from Lake Pennesseewassee on Thursday.
Rowe, of Otisfield, on Friday handed the Maine-made sweetness to Brent Gammon and Nick White at their place of work and from where they launched their rescue, White's Marina in Norway.
"I wanted to thank them somehow," Rowe said. "I'm not a rich man, but I wanted to give them something."
Gammon and White, along with marina owner Mike White had watched the dog, a male Rottweiler mix, wandering on Lake Pennesseewassee and saw him break through thin ice near a channel in the lake where the current keeps the ice from freezing thick.
Seeing the dog was in trouble, Gammon and Nick White pushed an aluminum rowboat across about 500 feet of ice until it started to break up. They climbed aboard and with oars pushed the boat through ice and water to the dog.
Gammon was able to fish out the dog, and once back on solid ice, the men pushed the boat, with the dog riding in the bow, back to shore and safety.
Gammon later learned the dog had been lost for about a week. He had run off while Rowe was working at a job in Oxford. Rowe had been searching for his dog for more than a week, Gammon said Friday.
He learned the news from his mother, who informed him that he was distantly related to Rowe.
"He's my mother's aunt's brother," Gammon said. "So in a very distant way, we are related."
The local animal control officer, Robert Larrabee, said Friday that he had a pretty good idea who the dog's owner was right away.
"I called the owner up and immediately he came flying up," said Larrabee, who took the dog from White's Marina to a kennel in Oxford following the rescue Thursday.
Larrabee said the owner happened to call him over the weekend to report his dog was missing. "I assumed it was the dog," Larrabee said when he saw the rescued dog was part Rottweiler.
"(Rowe) was out the door before I hung up the phone," Larrabee said. "They had a beautiful reunion. The guy had been looking high and low for him. It's strange how things happen sometimes."
Rowe was more than happy to have his dog back. "He's my buddy," Rowe said. "He goes everywhere with me."
The dog was near motionless when Gammon plucked him from the icy water, Nick White said Thursday after the rescue.
"Usually, it's a sad story for the animal," Mike White said Friday. That was not the case for Micah, he said. "He's got a good home and an owner, so that's a happy ending for him."
Staff writer Leslie Dixon contributed to this report.