Police say the small dog jumped into Hampton Ponds in Westfield, Massachusetts, on Monday night, prompting 64-year-old Donald Cyr to follow his pet into the lake.
Police told The Westfield News that he became distressed and his wife, 61-year-old Patricia Cyr, tried to rescue him.
Their daughter, Miranda Landry, told The Boston Globe that her mother jumped into the water despite not being able to swim.
"It doesn't surprise me at all," Landry said. "I know that's what she would do."
Other boaters, alerted by screams, helped pull the couple from the water. Efforts by rescue personnel failed to revive them, and both were pronounced dead at hospitals.
The dog survived and was taken to the municipal animal shelter. The couple received the West Highland white terrier as a gift from Daniel Cyr's sister six weeks ago to replace a beloved dog who died a year ago, Landry and a neighbor told The Globe.
The Cyrs were a devoted couple of 40 years, and "they couldn't survive without each other," said Landry, the youngest of the couple's three children.
The deaths remain under investigation.
Westfield (US): A US couple boating on a lake drowned after jumping into the water to rescue their dog, who survived.
First Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012, 15:45