It’s that magical time of year when the temperature drops, snow begins to fall, and open bodies of water begin to ice over. When we see the glistening frozen water, we feel the urge to strap on the ice skates and take a spin around the now-solid surface. As enticing as it may be, however, the frozen lake or pond may present a serious danger to anyone who ventures out on it.
Without doing a little research, unwary adventure-seekers may find themselves in a life-or-death situation if they don’t find out the facts about ice safety before they go. For example, according to TheEngineeringToolbox.com, there are minimum thickness measurements considered safe, depending on load or activity.
Now I have the information I need to keep myself and my family safe: The ice should be at least two inches (five centimeters) thick before I head out for a skating excursion. Got it! But what about our four-legged friends who inhabit the great outdoors and do not have access to google or yahoo? Who is going to watch out for them and ensure their safety? Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do when one of God’s heftier critters unwarily steps upon the frozen yet fragile surface. We can hope that the ice is thick enough to hold the animal’s weight, but when it doesn’t hold and the animal plunges into the frigid water, a potentially tragic event begins to unfold.
In our sad story, we join a group of men who have discovered a rather large dog who has fallen through the ice. Charlie is obviously in desperate shape and is calling out to his potential-rescuers with pitiful yelps. The men on shore are on it, though, and one of them is gearing up to head out to try to help the distressed doggy. As Jeff drops to his belly and begins to scoot along the slick surface he must be careful that he, too, doesn’t end up submerged in the icy prison.
When the man finally arrives, Charlie is eager to greet his savior. After giving Charlie a reassuring pat on the head Jeff tries to figure out the best way to move the dog toward shore.
After realizing the severity of the dog's hypothermia, Jeff has no choice but to physically direct him where to go. Wrapping the pup in his arms, our hero moves the animal onto the snow-covered surface of the pond, hoping Charlie can scoot his way back to shore. But the pup is too exhausted to get there on his own so Jeff has no choice but to carry him.
As the two inch their way along the frigid surface, the rescuers on shore encourage the pair on their grueling trek. Finally, they arrive at the shore, but Charlie is unable to walk the short distance to the waiting ambulance.
With no time to waste, two of the men scoop up the suffering animal and rush him to the doctors who are waiting to give him further care.
When they get inside the medical transport vehicle, it looks as though Charlie is not going to make it. His vital signs are very weak and the doctor has a difficult time finding a heartbeat.
After what seems like forever, they begin to see signs of life. Charlie responds to the warmth and stimulation and starts to stir. He’s going to make it after all! Now it’s just a matter time before Charlie regains his strength and is ready to carry on as a fun-loving pup.
Let’s just hope he has learned a lesson from his terrible ordeal and thinks twice before ever again stepping out on a snow-covered, partially-frozen pond.
We are grateful that these brave men went out of their way to help this sweet creature in distress. Without their bravery, Charlie’s Rescue Story would certainly have had a different, much sadder, ending.
To watch the tense rescue in its entirety, click on the video, below.