An Odessa, Washington 5th grader is enjoying local hero status after risking his life to save a dog stranded in an iced over pond.
Ilan Toberly and a friend were walking home from school when they saw a neighbor’s dog, Coda, fall through the ice and plunge into the frigid waters of a neighborhood pond. When the dog became stranded by the ice surrounding it and started to struggle to stay afloat, Ilan’s friend went for help – but Ilan said he could not wait for that help to arrive, so the ten-year-old boy took matters into his own hands and ventured onto the frozen surface of the pond. It was not strong enough to support him, and after a few steps it cracked, dropping Ilan into the water and taking his breath away.
When he recovered from the shock, Ilan collected himself and pressed on. Breaking through the ice, he was able to make his way to the 165 pound dog, free him, and coax him back to shore.
Once Coda was secure, Ilan walked him home. Coda’s owner said she was shocked when she heard what had transpired in her absence, and that Ilan’s bravery was commendable. She expressed tremendous gratitude, and said that she can’t believe the boy would risk his life to save her dog.
“I was scared for him when I found out someone had fallen through the ice trying to save my dog,” she said. “I told him I was so proud of him, and that I was going to write a letter to our local newspaper about small town heroes.”
Ilan said that even after breaking through the ice and feeling the shock the freezing water, and depite the risk to his personal safety, he only had one thing on his mind: making sure that Coda was going to make it home alive.