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Firefighters reunite with dog they saved in Lake Michigan

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Tuff rescue reunion

(WKOW) -- More than a week ago, firefighters rescued an English Bulldog named Tuff from the icy water of Lake Michigan.

Today, they got to see him again.

They reunited at the South Milwaukee fire house.

Tuff went onto the ice to get a stick, but fell in. He was in the water for about 10 minutes.

Two firefighters and Tuff's owner described what happened.

"The ice broke and he kind of shifted into the water," said John Rhinesmith, a South Milwaukee Firefighter/Paramedic. "I grabbed him and tried to get him on the shelf, which broke again. And so, I just had Ryan pull me in."

"We're just glad there's a good outcome," said Rhinesmith's co-worker Ryan Kurz.

Tuff's owner, Cindy Thong, was relieved.

"I'm so happy, because Tuff is like family. Like my kid," she said.

The fire department is now selling "Built Tuff" t-shirts.

Money from sales will help the department buy new equipment for its water rescue team and some will be donated to a charity that provides service dogs for veterans.

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