Merry Dog wrapped in a wool sweater and hat sits by the fire warming up after she was rescued from an unplanned dip in the icy pond.
This is one of the treasures we found in the cabin, along with the antique Mr. Potato-head, a deed from the 1800's and oh so much junk! it's great for warm up breaks while we work to clear out the cabin and insulate the floor before installing the new wood stove. We had hauled out the insulation on a sled for the job that day.
This is the hole that opened up from the current of the brook swelled with rain and melt off during our extreme and prolonged January Thaw this year. The hole that Merry dog got too close to. Though the water is only about 4 - 4 1/2 feet deep she could not get purchase enough to haul herself out and within 4 minutes had lost the ability to get her front legs up on the ice and was finding it hard just to tread water. The man had found a rope and I grabbed a 5 foot plastic sled with the 4 pieces of 2" x 8' rigid Styrofoam insulation still strapped on, shed my coat and vest, tied the rope around my waste and laying on the insulation used my hands to propel me to the hole. I didn't think this big tall dog could really be in trouble in shallow water. I changed my mind fast when she started giving up and sinking lower in the icy water. Once I reached her I realized I could not pull her out by her collar--it comes off over her head--so I just grabbed two big hand fulls of her hair and skin and attempted to pull her up, yelling back to the man, "PULL US OUT! PULL US OUT" suddenly there is slack on the rope and because I have already begun to lift I am pulled over the edge of the ice nearly on top of Merry Dog, I relax my grip and she was sinking once more. I yelled desperately then "PULL! PULL US OUT NOW!!" and very shortly, but what seemed like a rather long delay sled, Merry, and me are whisked backwards onto safe ice. When the old rotted rope failed the man had then crawled out and grabbed the foam insulation and hauled for all he was worth. Merry dog leaped to her feet and dashed off for the island. She just ran full tilt boogie round and round the island for about 5 minutes then shaking and rolling with great enthusiasm in an attempt to get dry and warm herself. She finally settled in near the fire and we wrapped her in a sweater. The sweater didn't quite do the trick and I thought I was going to have to make the 1/2 mile trek to the car to take her home when the Man offered up his down vest. I wasn't sure it would fit around the 97 pound Saint Bernard/ Belgian Malinois but after the careful folding of a front leg to shove it through the second arm hole we found it did button up and she soon stopped shivering.
Here she is later waiting near the sleds (packed with yet more junk) for me to toss the ashes from the portable fire pit out onto the ice and cover them with snow before we hit the trail. I had to take the vest off after just a few minutes on the trail as she was panting.
Merry dog slept long that night and her fur is rain pond water soft.