Ryan Arens, a UPS deliveryman in Bozeman, Montana, was out delivering goods on a busy day only a few weeks before Christmas.
All was routine until Arens noticed an odd sound, despite his busy schedule.
When he had a better look, he began circling a pond in his vehicle. On the pond, there was a thin layer of ice and something black floating in the middle.
“I got out of my truck, and then I noticed a dog in the pond,” Arens explained.
It wasn’t the coldest it could have been — the temperature was in the 30s — but Arens, who owns a dog, sensed something wasn’t right. In those weather, there was no way a dog should be swimming.
Arens remarked, “Then I noticed she was holding to the ice.” And then he heard it again: the dog yelping for assistance.
Arens tripped and fell.
He remarked, “My heart was pounding.” “Knowing that I was probably about to do something dumb, I became a little afraid and worried.”
A small crowd had formed, and one older man was paddling a tiny paddle boat to get closer to the dog.
“I stripped down to my boxer underwear, took off my uniform, helmet, and everything,” Arens recalled. “I left my socks on because I knew how sharp ice can be.”
As he drew closer to the dog, Arens climbed into the boat and attempted to spread his weight so that the ice didn’t shatter under him.
The dog was unable to stand because her legs were numb, and she appeared to be in shock. The crowd hurried her back to one of the neighbors’ homes.
Arens explained, “One of the neighbors had a wood stove running, so we walked over there to warm up.” “I brought her into the bathroom and knelt down, propping her up so he could get the warm water on her tummy,” he said.
The man, thankfully, was a former veterinarian who knew just what to do. He took the dog’s temperature and recognized that if Arens hadn’t intervened, the dog would have died of a heart attack if she had been in the water only a few minutes longer.
Arens snuck out the back, still in his boxer underwear, during the commotion of the reunion. He changed into the additional clothing he has in his vehicle — the truck might break down in the winter, so having extra layers is usually a smart idea — and continued on his journey.
“My legs were scraped up by the ice, and my feet were sliced up even through my socks,” he explained. “But I put on my uniform and continued on my route.” “I still had approximately 20 trips to make.”
Arens was out doing deliveries the next day when he stumbled upon a residence near where he had rescued Sadie. He spotted the man walking toward the pickup in the driveway before noticing Sadie in the car.
That’s how Arens was able to take a picture with Sadie to remember the day he saved her.
Arens has been a UPS driver for more than a decade and considers the dogs he meets along his route to be a bonus of the job. He has no regrets, even if he met Sadie in a more spectacular way than the others.
He remarked, “I would do it again in a heartbeat.” “I am a huge animal lover.”