Hardy, a 9-year-old black Lab likes to go for walks on his own. On his most recent walk, he headed to the river where likes to take a dip. Without noticing that it had partially frozen over, fell in and the poor dog ended up stuck in the ice. His body was half submerged in the frozen water, with his paws clinging to the ice for dear life.
“He had been out walking with his dog walker when he had run into the river not realizing that the minus-6 degree weather we’ve had recently had frozen the water,” Jaqui Miller, an inspector with the RSPCA, said. “His dog walker told us he’s so used to paddling in the river and the sea that he just bounded off hoping for a little swim.”
When the Northumberland Fire and Rescue Services and RSPCA arrived on the scene, they knew would have to work quickly to rescue the trapped dog. The water was absolutely freezing, and he wasn’t going to be able to stand it for much longer.
Firefighters attached Miller to a rope and had her very slowly crawl all the way out to Hardy, using an ice pick.
“I made sure I was securely fastened to the rope and started across the ice,” Miller said. “As I got closer to Hardy I could hear him whimpering and I kept calling back to him to try and reassure the poor dog. I managed to grab him by his scruff and help Hardy push himself up onto the ice. He must have been freezing, because he didn’t hang around, but scampered off towards his dog walker.”
After Hardy was freed from the ice, he was able to carefully trot across the frozen river and into the arms of his dog walker, who was so worried about him.
“The firefighters then tugged on the rope which was attached to me and pulled me back onto land where I could check Hardy over,” Miller said. “He had a small cut on his paw and was pretty cold, but apart from this he was absolutely fine.”
Hardy made it through his ordeal without any major injuries. After being thoroughly dried off with towels and given lots of attention, he was able to head home. Miller went to check in on Hardy later that day and was happy to see that he was doing well.
“He’s quite a strong dog who’s been used to swimming in the North Sea, so he seemed pretty unfazed by it all and was just happy to be home where he was even treated to a sausage or two,” Miller said.
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