A trip to Green Valley Park Saturday nearly proved to be one plucky Pomeranian’s last adventure, after he chased a duck onto thin ice only to end up dog-paddling for his life.
As Harley slid under the frigid water and his hysterical Show Low owner cried for help, a silent, stoic hero with a fishing pole appeared out of nowhere.
The angler calmly emptied his pockets, waded in and plucked the dog from the thigh-high water.
As quietly as he arrived, the man returned to his family and left the park, exchanging only brief greetings with the pooch’s owner, Julia Foster.
Foster said she cannot thank the anonymous hero enough.
“Our family wants you to know how much we appreciate your kind, selfless gesture, and the beauty of your soul,” she said.
Foster explained she was driving from Show Low to Phoenix Saturday morning and stopped at Green Valley Park to let her dogs stretch their tiny legs.
“In the commotion of three adults and other dogs getting out of the vehicle, one ran down to the water and out onto an ice ledge that quickly broke through,” she said.
Eight feet from the water’s edge, a large sheet of ice separating them, Harley was too far for Foster to grab.
Unfamiliar with the lake, she didn’t know how deep the water was or if the ice would hold her. She watched in terror as Harley pawed desperately at the slippery sheet of ice, his little paws barely keeping him afloat.
“Our attempts to reach him were fruitless,” she said. “I was panic stricken.”
Then from nowhere, help appeared.
“Harley was in the frigid water for about three minutes when a man who had been fishing nearby walked over and silently emptied his pockets, removed his boots and waded out to the edge of the ice where he gently retrieved the dog and returned him to shore,” she said. “Our little doggie was cold and scared, but is now fine.”
Foster said the man appeared familiar with the lake and confident enough to wade in up to his thighs.
“Through my tears, I was only able to mutter a mere thank you to the angel who had rescued him, as the gentleman simply picked up his boots and headed for his car (a white pickup),” she said.
Harley has since recovered from his icy ordeal, thanks to a toasty car ride home wrapped in towels until his shivers subsided.
“It was a very scary ordeal,” Foster said. “I still have nightmares about it.”