Sometimes, the winter can be a hard time for dogs depending on their background, as some are better suited for the colder temperatures than others. Other times, it doesn’t matter if you’re an Alaskan Malamute or a Jack Russell Terrier – winter just happens.
For one elderly, blind dog in the U.K., the horrors of winter were made abundantly real when he fell through the ice and into the frigid waters of a Hampstead Heath pond.
Escaping the chilly grip of the water
Hampstead Highgate Express reported that a 15-year-old terrier fell into the icy waters of the Model Boating Pond, sending passers bye into a frenzy to free him. To make matters worse, the blind dog was largely unaware of the full nature of his situation, or the attempts to save him.
Ron Vester, a local man who was on the scene with a camera, said that the blind dog struggled to find his way back to shore because he didn’t know which way to turn. Luckily, he managed to scramble his way to a wire mesh that was being used to hold up a bank of reeds along the water. With the help of passersby, Vester called a Hampstead Heath ranger and lifeguard to arrange the rescue mission.
Wearing waist-high waders, the lifeguard walked about 20 feet along the outer edge of the reeds and grabbed the dog from the water. The terrier’s owner was waiting on the shoreline with her coat, wrapping the shivering dog in warmth before taking him home in her car.
The elderly Terrier was lucky to have had people nearby who were ready and willing to rescue him. It’s important for owners to know some basic winter safety tips in case they experience similar scenarios during winter walks.
Protecting your best friend from the cold
It’s common to walk your dog through the chilly woods, even during the winter months. It guarantees your pooch daily exercise and saves you from dealing with a hyperactive, cooped-up canine. However, dog owners should be wary of thin ice on ponds and know how to handle emergencies like this on the spot.
If your dog falls through ice into freezing water, PAW Rescue recommended wrapping them in a towel immediately to capture as much heat as possible. This maneuver can help prevent hypothermia, which can quickly lead to death in animals. If your pooch isn’t breathing after you rescue them, lay them flat on their side and make several quick compressions on their chest to expel water.
In the event that you don’t feel a heartbeat, you’ll want to begin making one or two quick, firm compressions on the chest wall and start artificial respiration. This involves firmly closing your dog’s muzzle and blowing air into their nose, which you should adjust depending on the size of your dog. Execute about 15 breaths followed by chest compressions until your pooch regains consciousness, then bring them to the veterinarian for a follow-up.