Hardy, a 9-year-old black Labrador, was out on a walk when he went racing onto a partially frozen river and got trapped in the ice. The pup was stuck in the freezing water, his paws clinging to the edge as his dog walker tried unsuccessfully to pull him to safety.
The RSPCA and Northumberland Fire and Rescue Services were called to the River Wansbeck in Ashington in the U.K. to help rescue the half-submerged dog, who had been in the water for an hour.
“He had been out walking with his dog walker when he had run into the river not realizing that the minus six degree weather we’ve had recently had frozen the water," said RSPCA Inspector Jaqui Miller, in a press release. "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."
Firefighters attached a rope to Miller, and then she slowly crawled across the frozen river to Hardy, pulling herself along with an ice pick. A GoPro camera she was wearing captured the harrowing scene.
“I made sure I was securely fastened to the rope and started across the ice. 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," Miller said. "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."
Once Hardy was back on shore, he was towel-dried and given the once-over by his dog walker and Miller, who had been pulled back to land by firefighters. The Lab was very cold and had a small cut on one of his paws. But other than that, he was fine.
Later that day, Miller stopped by to visit Hardy.
“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!” she said