Under The Ice



Tell us about the time you rescued someone else (person or animal) from a dangerous situation. What happened? How did you prevail?

This is ZeusOS, my wonder dog, running along the surface of a nearby frozen rural & remote wilderness pond.  Later that spring, tragedy nearly visited.

There is a smaller fire pond (body of water that exists as a resource for the rural fire department) at the end of the road along the way to the fire pond.  Zeus & I would walk across it, unknowingly creating a dangerous precedence.

Winter became spring and the ponds started thawing. One day, Zeus went across the fire pond and broke through the ice.

That day, while walking down the road, I reflected and remembered my Boy Scout training on self-rescuing from the ice. Little did I know that was prescient memory.

I called my wife on the cellphone to let her know that Zeus was in the pond, to please come down, and be available to help.  She drove her car down while I belly crawled across the ice. (the cellphone and wallet were left on the shore).  My intent was to drag Zeus out by the collar onto the ice, then back to shore.

Instead, the ice broke under me and I joined Zeus in the frigid water. I will never forget looking up at the bottom of the ice.  With a mighty shove, while standing on the bottom of the pond, I shoved Zeus onto the ice and he made his way to my wife.

I was still in the water, considering my options.  At first, a few lunges onto the ice were tried, but the ice continued to break under my weight.  It was only ten feet to shore and I briefly considered swimming under the ice.  With one final lunge, I made it onto the ice, back to shore, grabbed my wallet & cellphone and walked to the car for a ride home for a hot bath to beat back any potential hypothermia.

It took several years before I found the courage to walk on frozen ponds.







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