Winter is such a beautiful time of year. Though admittedly, we don’t often stop to consider this during stressful morning commutes.
But if you look around after a heavy snowfall, it’s tough to deny. Hills and trees are frosted in pure rolling white, and waterways glisten with ice.
Unfortunately, this idyllic seasonal scenery can also conceal some hidden dangers. And slip-sliding on slush is only the start of it.
Sure, that crystalline covering on lakes and ponds looks utterly picturesque. But if you’re not careful during colder months, you can easily fall right through it.
That’s exactly what happened to an unsuspecting golden retriever in the Cincinnati suburb of Blue Ash, Ohio, recently.
According to local CBS affiliate WKRC, the unplanned accident occurred in a stream beside the Hunter’s Creek Apartments and local officials jumped into action immediately.
Fox-affiliated WXIX reports that the Blue Ash Fire Department was on the scene within minutes. A tense rescue video was subsequently posted on social media, and shared numerous times.
In the short video snippet, a yellow-clad official can be seen moving out toward the disoriented dog. The canine’s light brown head bobs in the frigid water and thin ice as the rescuer slowly approaches.
“The retriever was struggling to keep both paws on the ice and her head above the water. Blue Ash crews were fortunate to respond so quickly as there were several inches of snow that had freshly fallen,” the Blue Ash Professional Firefighters Association told Liftable, a brand of The Western Journal.
How about a heart-warming story on this chilly day? The Blue Ash Fire Department rescued a Golden Retriever this morning after the pup accidentally fell through ice on Hunters Creek. Thankfully, the lucky dog is now back home and is doing well! Thank you BAFD! pic.twitter.com/zFF5ECSp1t
— City of Blue Ash (@BlueAshOhio) January 20, 2019
The individual is holding a bright red inner tube and manages to secure the scared pup around the neck. Then, the pair is carefully reeled in via a tether secured to the human’s black-booted foot.
The Firefighters Association told Liftable the dog was then taken home and dried off by crew members “back in the comfort of her own living room.”
“After reuniting the animal with her keeper, crews were informed that the animal was rather excited about the recent snowfall. The retriever was able to maneuver out the front door past her owner and ran straight for the pond,” they said.
The City of Blue Ash recounted the entire incident on Twitter. “How about a heart-warming story on this chilly day?” begins their encouraging post.
The city thanked the Blue Ash Fire Department, and noted that “the lucky dog is now back home and is doing well!”
WXIX reports that department officials later flagged the incident as “a great reminder to make sure people and pets stay away from frozen water” during the unpredictable winter months.
The Firefighters Association also explained the importance of safety and preparedness in situations like these.
“Blue Ash personnel were happy to be able to help the retriever out of danger and back with her owner. Blue Ash is fortunate enough to be properly equipped for this type of incident. Proper training, protective ice rescue suits, helmets, and tethers were all used.”
Of course, avoiding those lakes and ponds can be somewhat tricky. After all, they’re often concealed by a fluffy layer of snow.
And even when the ice appears solid, looks can be incredibly deceiving. The Simplemost website offers some critical survival tips for those who take a frightening spill into chilly waters.
Since hypothermia is such an immediate risk, they explain, force yourself to stay calm and breathe evenly. Try to stay horizontal by gripping a piece of ice, then forcefully kick to help get yourself out.
Better yet, if you see a snowy expanse, simply admire it from afar. Because doggone it, you never know what might be underneath that blanket of wintry white.
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