When a dog was ensnared in a lake with freezing temperatures, there was no time to waste. With the unfortunate dog unable to return to land, one courageous man braved the frosty waters to perform a touching rescue (video below).
Onlookers were horrified to discover a small dog struggling to escape the icy, chilly lake. The shoreline coated in snow, the water's temperature was clearly freezing, Shareably reports.
The rim of the lake was encrusted in ice, but the dog was trapped in the water, desperately paddling but unable to climb out from its icy prison. Faced with the prospect of hypothermia or drowning, the dog's life was on the line.
One volunteer stripped down to his underwear to save the dog. Sitting down and dipping his feet into the water, the man moved around his legs to acclimate himself to the bracing temperatures. He then fully submerged himself into the lake, the thin sheet of ice crunching and giving away around his body.
The man swam over to the desperately paddling dog and grabbed it by the scruff of its neck, lifting the canine up into his arms as he stepped up onto land.
The dog, visibly relieved to be rescued from an terrible fate, shook its coat dry as the man walked away, winded by his strenuous task and freezing water.
The heroism displayed by the man has been replicated in numerous incidents of humans rescuing dogs caught in freezing waters.
In December 2016, a Russian man crawled on his stomach across a brittle sheet of ice on a frozen lake to rescue a dog trapped underwater in a hole, the Mirror reports.
Trying his best to avoid cracking the ice beneath his body, the man reached forward and yanked the endangered dog from the hole. Both were able to return to land safely.
On April 8, a Canadian man did not hesitate to dive into a frozen lake after his pet French bulldog fell through a thin sheet of ice, Fox News Insider reports.
"It's a split second thing," the owner, Duncan McIver, said of his decision. "You're not just going to let them die, right? As soon as the ice broke, I just went in. I think most people would do the same for their dogs."
Many people can only guess if they would behave courageously in the face of an emergency. Rescues like these indicate that, when a creature as innocent as a dog is on the line, sometimes taking heroic action is just instinct.