Alaska’s Mat-Su Valley is a great base camp for outdoor adventurers, but a local dog got a bit more than he bargained for when he wandered out onto the thin ice of Seymour Lake.
A lakeside resident saw the big brindle mastiff (definitely not the breed most likely to pitter-pat across lake ice unscathed) plummet through the thinning sheet and called authorities. At first, she thought the dog was a moose calf, she told the area’s local paper, The Frontiersman.
As Mat-Su Borough Animal Control responded and a dive team began to assemble, another resident, Rodney Priebe, appeared with a canoe, ready to help.
Armed with a couple of life preservers, Priebe and animal control officer Nick Uphus headed out to assist the frightened pooch. Using paddles to make their way through the ice, Priebe told reporters by the time they reached him, the mastiff was floundering.
“He went under twice,” he said.
Grabbing the dog – which weighed an estimated 120 pounds – by his collar, the pair managed to pull him into the canoe without incident. The dive team’s inflatable boat attached a rope to the canoe and an on-shore team of people pulled both vessels in to shore.
Uphus, who cut his finger while hauling the dog into the canoe, said such rescues are common this time of year, as ice on local lakes continues to melt out. “This is probably the sixth or seventh already this year,” he said.
The dog, though chilled and stiff at first, appeared to be in pretty good shape not long after being rescued. Animal control was later able to locate the dog’s owner via his microchip.