Jesus once said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Do you know what’s pretty impressive, though? When people sacrifice their own comfort simply to aid complete strangers — even when they’re only helping out their animals.
A man from Yonkers, New York, did exactly that on March 9. According to Inside Edition, Timofey Yuriev was walking with his dog near the Irvington Reservoir when he saw something terrible.
He watched a pair of golden retrievers break away from their owner and run toward the reservoir’s frozen surface. She called to them, but they kept going — and plunged through the ice into the frigid water.
“It was pretty dangerous,” Yuriev told The Journal News. “They got stuck. They tried to come out and after a while, they just stopped moving. I saw they were in trouble.”
Video recorded by the dogs’ owner showed what Yuriev did next. The footage displays Yuriev plunging into the ice-covered lake clad only in his shorts, and he isn’t alone, either.
His own dog, which looks like a yellow lab, goes in with him. Soon enough, Yuriev’s strategy becomes clear.
Rather than try to swim to the stranded pooches, he begins slamming his arms through the lake’s frozen surface, acting as an icebreaker so that the freezing dogs have a straight path to safety.
Then his own animal swims beside the stranded, quickly freezing dogs, getting them to shore.
The video records their owner exclaiming, “I’m the luckiest person in the world!”
“She was crying,” Yuriev said. “She was so thankful.”
Little did the owner know that Yuriev was the perfect person for that utterly unpleasant and dangerous job. A Kazakhstan native, he has spent lots of time swimming in frigid spots.
“We have only two seasons — big winter and small winter,” he said. “But we had to have fun somehow, so a lot of us were used to cold water.”
That included free diving in water of all sorts of temperatures. In fact, he didn’t find his rescue all that daunting.
“It was pretty cold at that point,” he said. “By the time I got out, I felt pretty good. Energized.”
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