A pair of police officers from Toronto, Canada have become a couple’s Christmas guardian angels. The two officers risked their lives in a mostly frozen pond to rescue their 160-Newfoundland, Ursus, from freezing to death in the icy water.
The McKagues are crediting the efforts of officers James DeDieu and Dennis Dimitroff for saving their dog and their Christmas spirit. If they hadn’t responded the way they did in time, the usual Thursday morning walk they take could have ended in tragedy.
“We so appreciate their willingness to get wet, cold and uncomfortable to rescue him,” the couple said in an email to Halton police Friday. “They are our heroes, and we are really thankful for them and their help.”
Ursus had been in the freezing water for a half an hour before help could arrive. The officers responding didn’t hesitate. Officer DeDieu is a former firefighter, and has had experience with cold water rescue procedure. He basically tied a rope around his waist just so he could be pulled back if he were to find himself in trouble. He then dove in and made his way through the water to Ursus.
“I didn’t really think about it,” DeDieu said Friday. “There was a dog in trouble. I have my own dogs. I knew what to do.”
After being brought out of the water and to safety, Ursus was able to move around a bit under his own power. DeDieu took off the frozen uniform he was wearing and raced back to headquarters to change and warm up.
Sgt. Andy Dennis has put DeDieu in for a commendation for the rescue.
“Pets are just like children,” he said. “It’s a nice feel-good story for Christmas.”