The dogs were dry when firefighters arrived, so officials believe they might have been able to walk across on the ice before it melted, said Deputy Fire Chief Kerry Boyer of the Robinson Township Fire Department.
He did not know how long the dogs had been missing at the time.
Robinson firefighters responded to the river shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday when a nearby resident reported two dogs trapped on the island.
Robinson responded initially because the dogs were said to be on Stearns Bayou, Boyer said.
They eventually realized the dogs were about 100 yards offshore, a little west of Grand Haven Township’s Odawa/Battle Point Launch, which is located at the intersection of 144th Avenue and Mercury Drive.
So Grand Haven Township firefighters and Ottawa County Animal Control responded to the scene as well.
At some point, one of the firefighters learned there was a post on social media about some dogs missing from the nearby River Haven Village Manufactured Home Community, Boyer said.
Officials were able to locate the dogs’ owner and have her respond to the launch.
Ruby Cloud said she was home with her two young children Friday afternoon, when her youngest child apparently opened the door and the dogs got outside.
“I turned my back for a minute and he’s standing in the doorway waving goodbye to the dogs,” Cloud said.
She loaded her children into the car and drove around the area looking for the dogs, but was unable to locate them.
Cloud said she then posted on social media that she was missing her dogs, but unlike a previous time – when there was lots of sightings – nobody had seen the two purebred Huskies.
The dog owner said it never occurred to her to look at the Grand River for her dogs.
“They hate water,” she said.
So when firefighters contacted her, even she was unable to coax the dogs into the water for the relatively short swim to shore.
“I never would have thought in a million years that I would be in a boat with firefighters going to rescue my dogs,” Cloud laughed.
The dogs jumped right into the boat when they saw their owner.
“They had to tell the whole story the entire way across,” she said. “They are talkers.”
Back on shore her fiancé was waiting for her with her two children.
Cloud said her 4-year-old called her a hero and then walked around and thanked all of the firefighters for saving their dogs
Cloud said both dogs are fine, but spent a lot of time lying around after their adventure.
“Today they are back to normal,” she said.
Cloud said it was terrifying to lose her dogs, and then to think, however briefly, that they might be stuck in the ice.
She was thankful for the residents who reported the lost dogs and to the firefighters who helped rescue her pets.