He was going around a pond in his truck when he got a better view of the icy waters and noticed something dark floating in it.
Ryan Arens was out delivering packages in Bozeman, Montana, just a few weeks before Christmas when he heard a strange noise. Arens, a deliveryman for UPS, was going around a pond in his truck when he got a better view of the icy waters and noticed that there was something dark floating in it. When he realized that it was a dog, he immediately knew something was wrong as there was no way a dog would be out swimming in such cold conditions. That's when he heard it again. The dog's cry for help.
"Then I saw she was clinging to the ice," Arens revealed. "My heart was thumping. I got a little scared and nervous knowing that I was probably going to do something stupid," he told The Dodo. Speaking to NBC Montana, he revealed that an older man was already at the scene, on a small paddle boat trying to slide closer to the dog. Arens immediately took over, stripping down to his boxer briefs to get into the water if need be. "I stripped down to my boxer briefs, took off my uniform and my hat and everything, and left my socks on knowing how sharp ice can be," he said.
"Took the boat and got it up onto the ice and kind of used that to distribute my weight across and shimmied out onto the ice where I could see it was getting really thin," Arens revealed. "I could see through the ice now because it was really thin and I could see three-quarters of the dog's body was underwater — just her head was up and barely out of the water. My biggest fear was falling through the ice and not being able to get out." Sure enough, the ice cracked under the weight and Arens fell into the water.
"So I grabbed her, swam back to the ice, grabbed her collar, hoisted her up on the ice and kind of shuffle-boarded her to shore. She was trying to get up, her back legs wouldn't work, she was in the water for quite a while," he recalled. Arens put the dog in the boat and slid it back to shore, where some nearby residents had gathered. "A lady who was there handed me a blanket and I just wrapped it around the dog," he revealed. "One of the neighbors had a wood stove going and so we went over there to warm up. He went into the bathroom and got the warm water going and I carried her in there, and I knelt down, holding her up so he could get the warm water on her belly."
As it turns out, the man was a retired veterinarian who knew exactly how to help the dog. Upon checking the canine's body temperature, he realized that if Arens hadn't gone into the water, the animal could've had a heart attack had she stayed in the water just a few moments longer. Meanwhile, the rescued dog's owner was on the lookout for her. The dog, Sadie, had been playing with a neighbor's dog when she ran off. "There were duck decoys floating in the pond and I’m guessing she was curious about them and that’s how she got into the situation," said Arens. Sadie was soon returned to her home just a few blocks away.
Arens did get a chance to meet her again the next day when he was out making deliveries. When he came upon a house near where he'd rescued the dog, he saw a man approaching his truck in the driveway with Sadie in the car. "She was in his vehicle and she saw me coming down the driveway and she just went crazy. The man said, 'Thank you so much, I never really got a chance to thank you.' And then he said, 'Would you like to meet Sadie?' And I said, 'I would love to meet Sadie,'" Arens recalled. As for whether he'd pull something like this again, he said: "I would do it again in a heartbeat. I love animals."