Frozen Mastiff! Dog Rescued After Falling Through Alaska Lake Ice

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Rodney Priebe holds onto the lucky dog post-rescue. Photo by Matt Tunseth/Frontiersman.com
Rodney Priebe holds onto the lucky dog post-rescue. Photo by Matt Tunseth/Frontiersman.com

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.

A Mat-Su Borough dive team towed the rescuers and dog to shore. Photo: Matt Tunseth/Frontiersman.com
A Mat-Su Borough dive team towed the rescuers and dog to shore. Photo: Matt Tunseth/Frontiersman.com

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.

The dog was later reunited with its owner Photo: Matt Tunseth/Frontiersman.com
The dog was later reunited with its owner Photo: Matt Tunseth/Frontiersman.com

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.

9 thoughts on “Frozen Mastiff! Dog Rescued After Falling Through Alaska Lake Ice”

  1. Such a absolutely beautiful, beautiful big dog and extremely lucky to have been seen. So thankful for all the rescuers and thankful that this amazing big dog has a responsible pet owner that got him microchiped.

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