CORE, W.Va. (AP) - In this case, man was dog's best friend. Randy Earl was fishing with his dog Lacy, a black spaniel mix, on Mason Lake near their Monongalia County home Monday when their small boat capsized.
"When the boat flipped over, I put the dog on top of the boat so it would be safe," Earl told The Dominion Post of Morgantown.
"That dog means a lot to me and my wife Kandy both," Earl said. "We lost both of our children in a car accident on April 23, 1993. That dog is like a child to us."
While waiting for rescue, the 53-year-old Earl clung to the 12-foot boat's hull.
The water temperature was about 50 degrees, said Division of Natural Resources senior conservation officer J.M. Crawley. Earl had a life jacket, but wasn't wearing it properly.
Earl and Lacy were rescued after Trooper J.D. McCoy responded to a call and used an old kayak to paddle out to them. Earl was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown as a precaution but was released that evening.
"He asked the state trooper to take the dog first," Jan Thorn, who'd been fishing on the lake's edge, said about Earl. "It was very touching."