With winter hovering just around the corner, it’s a good time to start thinking about your pets. It can be easy to forget that there are just as many dangers lurking in the frigid cold for animals as there are for humans. It’s our job as people to make sure to help our furry friends out where we can, and that’s exactly what one UPS driver did for a random dog last year.
Ryan Arens was in mid-route last December when he heard the sudden, panic-stricken sounds of a distressed dog.
The Bozeman, Montana-based driver had been out delivering packages a few weeks before Christmas. As is normal this time of year, everything was covered in snow and the ponds were completely iced over, but he couldn’t ignore the sounds.
“This dog was screaming and crying and going crazy,” Arens recalls in an interview with The Great Falls Tribune.
As Arens searched for the dog the sun was beginning to sink down and he was running out of time.
The driver had been approaching the door of one of his deliveries when he heard the dog cry out. He quickly dropped the package off. He searched for the source of the sounds but couldn’t see where they were coming from. He decided to drive to the opposite side of the nearby pond, though, and that’s when he finally found him.
The dog was in the middle of an icy pond, struggling to survive.
“I could see the dog trapped about 10-15 feet off of shore, with ice all around it,” he remembers.
Arens wasn’t the only person to hear the dog’s cries. As the driver looked closer he saw a man in a paddleboat trying to get to the dog. He had to move slowly though and wasn’t going to reach it in time. That’s when Aren’s knew he had to step in.
Acting on pure instinct, he stripped to his boxers and socks and made his way over to them. While it would be dangerous, he just couldn’t let the dog drown.
“I stripped to my boxers and got the guy out of the boat. Then, I slid the boat out onto the ice, using it to distribute my weight. I shimmied out to where the ice was thin,” he explains.
As Arens moved closer he could see the dog was in real danger of going completely under.
“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,” he says.
And just like that, the ice broke.
At this point, the selfless UPS driver was all-in, literally. Working as quickly as he could, he reached for the dog’s collar and pulled her toward him.
“I went down, and at that point, I just swam out to the dog and grabbed her collar — thank God she had a collar on — and swam back to the ice,” he tells The Dodo.
Once they reached a thicker part of the ice, Arens lifted the dog and slid her to safety. Only after he knew she was in the clear did he pull himself out of the froze-over pond. When people heard the commotion they’d gathered around, and one woman even had a blanket ready for them.
When Arens was given the blanket, the hero driver wrapped the dog up in it.
Arens and the dog went with the man in the paddle boat to his house to warm up. Meanwhile, the dog’s owner, who lived a few blocks up, had been desperately searching for her. When he heard about what happened, he raced to the man’s house to see if it was his dog, Sadie. Sure enough, it was her.
Arens was happy to see the reunion, but he was also still standing in his boxers with strangers. He took advantage of the moment and snuck out the back door to finish up his route.
Luckily, Arens always keeps a change of clothes in his truck during winter, in case he needs to layer up. He headed back to his truck, got dressed, and geared up for his last 20 deliveries.
A few days later Arens was driving the same route. He got out when he saw Sadie’s owner. When her owner saw him he thanked him for saving his furbaby’s life. Sadie was sitting in the car and began freaking out with excitement when she saw the man who rescued her.
“She was freaking out, and when he let her out she ran to me. She must have remembered me. It sure made me feel good,” he said.
We’re guessing that he didn’t feel anywhere near as good as Sadie did after getting a second shot at life.
Thanks to Arens’ selfless actions, Sadie was able to be reunited with her owner. We only wish there were more people out there like Arens, who believes that all lives matter, including and especially when it comes to animals.
“Animals are my weakness. It was the highlight of my 14-year UPS career,” he says.
To learn more about Sadie’s amazing rescue, watch the video below.
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H/T: Animal Channel