Oklahoma man dies after trying to save dog on icy pond

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DUNCAN, Okla. – An Oklahoma community is grieving after a hunter died while trying to save his friend’s dog over the weekend.

Tanner Shorter drowned while trying to save the dog in an icy pond. It happened in Stephens County on Saturday morning.

“It would not matter if it was hot, cold or whatever, Tanner was going to be hunting,” said Colt Elam.

Some people can live 80 years and not leave behind the mark Shorter did in just 22.

“Tanner has made an impact on everyone through sports, through FFA, through the fire department. The whole community knew him. They loved him,” Elam said.

He’s been Shorter’s best friend since grade school.

“At first, I was mad. I was questioning God, asking why,” he said.

Answers that just aren’t there, but memories are. Shorter’s former football coach has many, like the time Shorter played with an injury.

“He went out there and played the best game he played in four years. After that game, I knew that that kid was a winner,” said Tony Robert, Empire High School.

A life cut short of a son, friend, brother and also a newlywed still celebrating good news.

“They just recently found out they have a little baby on the way,” said Kevin Billbrey.

He worked along side Shorter as a volunteer firefighter.

“I think Tanner’s dad said it best: God has a plan, and it was Tanner’s time. And, at least God took him with Tanner doing what he loved to do most,” he said.

The community is holding a benefit for Shorter January 21 on Main Street in Duncan.

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