Feb 242021

I thought I’d share this feel good story with all of you even though it involves a dog…and not a cat. This little dog was stranded on the ice in an area of the river not far from where I live. He spent 4 days and 3 nights on the ice in some of the coldest temperatures we’ve experienced so far this winter season. He was finally rescued and it was a miracle that he survived.

Close up of dog on ice
Close up of the dog spotted on the ice

It all started last Wednesday when someone spotted a small dog out on the ice in the river. It was in an area of a local park that overlooks the river and some small islands. Many local photographers go there to take photos of the wildlife. It was one of those photographers with his zoom lens who saw the dog on the ice close to one of the islands. He was quite a ways off shore, and the river was not completely frozen so no one was able to walk out there.

Word of the dog’s peril got out…I followed the story on Facebook…and as you can imagine, the concern for the dog was overwhelming. How the dog…who someone said his name was Alfonzo…ended out there on the ice is not known. There was lots of misinformation. That somehow the dog got away from his owners and that a coyote had chased him out on the ice. The part about the coyote was sort of true. There are coyotes on the island near where the dog was seen, and a coyote did chase the dog from the island back onto the ice where he stayed. But how the dog got out there in the first place remains a mystery.

Coyote circling dog
Coyote circling – arrow pointing at the dog

The director of one of the local animal shelters was contacted, and she and others called local police and fire departments to see if they could help. The coast guard was called. There was some talk that the dog had crossed the Canadian border (the US/Canada border runs through the river) so a local Canadian fire department was contacted. Everyone was looking for a safe way to rescue this dog. Local news reporters showed up to report on what was happening. Over the course of the next couple of days, drones and helicopters were sent out looking for the dog but he wasn’t spotted. It was feared that he had not survived.

A couple of days went by and people were losing hope that the dog would ever be rescued. He hadn’t been seen. But then Saturday morning, one of the photographers spotted the dog again. And the race to rescue him was on.

Unfortunately a rescue like this isn’t as easy as it might appear. Water rescues especially when there’s ice are tricky. No one knew how thick the ice was. The current of the river is very strong. The right kind of boat, something with a flat bottom, had to be used.

Rescuers spot dog Rescuers with dog
The rescue

The Canadian fire department contacted a local Canadian company who had a flat bottom air boat, and one of its employees went out there with it. He said he found the dog hiding in the undergrowth on the edge of the island. He grabbed him, wrapped him in a blanket and headed for shore. When he got there, the large crowd of people that had gathered at the park cheered.

Close up of rescuer with dog
Back on land again

The dog was immediately rushed to a local veterinarian clinic where he was given the care he needed. No one could believe this little dog survived all that time out on ice. But he did. One thing the vet said was that the dog’s extremely matted fur probably saved his life because it kept his body insulated from the cold. He suffered from hypothermia, frost bite, malnutrition, and a severe case of pancreatitis. But he is recovering and the vet thinks his prognosis is good. His owner has not yet been identified though many people have offered to adopt him.

Dog in car
On the way to the vet

Big kudos to all the people involved in the rescue…those that wouldn’t give up and found a way to save this little dog.

He has been dubbed the Miracle Dog because how he survived 4 days out on the ice in the cold and snow and being chased by coyotes truly IS a miracle.

**All photos courtesy of Tim Epperly, Epperly Photographic Images**


  37 Responses to “The Miracle Dog”

  1. Oh, my gosh, I hadn’t heard this! The poor dog! I’m so glad he was rescued; kudos to all involved. I hope the dog has a speedy recovery and finds a wonderful forever home. ♥

  2. Oh my DOGS we need more stories like this and I thank you for sharing.
    I’m guessing M.D. miracle dog was not mirochipped.
    The effort to rescue this precious little pup is heartwarming and the heroes who participated from FB to the actual rescue WELL DONE FAITH and DEVOTED humans
    Hugs Cecilia

  3. Wow, that is a miracle, and everyone working together to figure it out. His condition looked as if he might have been out for a while, even before the extreme cold. Thank goodness the coyotes stayed back.

  4. What a beautiful story! My eyes are all wet and I have a huge grin on my face – hooray for all the Superheroes who made this rescue possible.

  5. What an incredible story! Thank goodness the rescue was successful. Poor boy, we hope he is well taken care of for the remainder of his life.

  6. I love a happy ending. So precious and I’m sure this lucky little pup will find a wonderful forever home.

    Have a fabulous day. ♥

  7. Many paws of prayer and thanks to our Canadian Friends and to so many others who worked long and hard to rescue this little one … wherever he may “land” next, it is sure to be warm and loving! And to you, Sue, thanks for giving us a story of hope in these times when that is so much needed …

  8. Gosh that was some story and I’m glad it had a happy ending.x

  9. Definitely a feel good story. Hope this dog finds the home he deserves with humans who will take better care of him. XOCK, angel Lily Olivia, angel Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo, Cooper Murphy, Sawyer & Kizmet

  10. What a great story! We love happy endings and hope he finds a wonderful family.

    The Florida Furkids

  11. Mee-yow wow what a story Miss Sue an Ernie!!
    Alfonso THE Meeracull Poochie iss adoorabell an furry ten-a-shuss…..
    HURRAH fore all THE peepell inn-volved inn his rescue!
    Sending dubbell POTP an purrayerss from THE Purrfect Pad!
    **purrss** BellaDharma an {{huggiess}} LadyMew

  12. What a really wonderful story and we are so glad puppy is safe. We bet he is adopted by a new loving owner and we bet he stays away from big ice floes from now on. Yay to all the wonderful people who went the extra mile to save him

  13. What a rescue story! We are so furry happy that it turned out well for the little guy. We are purraying that he gets the best forever home ever. Thanks so very much for sharing his rescue story with us and telling us about the people who worked so hard to make sure he was finally safe. You rock! Have a marvellously happy day.

  14. That story in the cold and wet, just warmed my heart! Yes indeed a miracle!

  15. Oh the poor dog, he must have been terrified. So glad there was a happy ending.

  16. That is such a wonderful story and hooray for all of the heroes who never gave up on that sweet pup. We’re so happy he will be okay.

  17. Poor little dog! We are so glad he got rescued xx

  18. That poor dog! I am very glad he was safely rescued and hope he gets a loving forever home.

  19. I love this story……that little guy is a survivor – thanks to the people who rescued him and I have to wonder if he might not even be better off in a NEW home than the one he either left or that left him! Love happy endings.

    Hugs, Teddy and Mom

  20. Poor pupper!
    But not anymore; something tells me this doggo will live the life of Riley from now on!
    Thanks for sharing the story. It was an international incident!

  21. I saw that on the news! What an amazing rescue.

  22. That poor pup. That is a miracle. I am glad he was rescued.

  23. Hooray! We love a happy ending. Thank goodness that little dog was rescued. 🙂

  24. That was really a miracle rescue!

  25. Oh, we feel so GOOD about this sweet doggy. Thank you for giving us an uplifting story!!!!

  26. That was, as Summer said, a miracle rescue. I am so glad of it. I can’t bear animals in distress.

  27. With all of the sadness in the world, we’re happy to hear a story with a fabulous ending.

  28. We love a story with a happy ending. Hoping he finds his humans or a new furrever home.

  29. That’s incredible. So glad it ended well.

  30. Thank you for sharing such a heartwarming story! Animals are truly resilient. We hope this dog finds his old home or a new one. ♥

  31. What a great story! Thanks for sharing it with us!

    Purrs and Woofs,
    Tama, Genji and Ollie

  32. What a wonderful story! Especially love how Canadians helped out! Heart warming story!

  33. I love the stories with happy endings! Cheers and purrs for everyone who helped get this dog to safety!

  34. I’m so glad this story had a happy ending! I hope he ends up in a perfect forever home.

  35. The dog is so cute! I’m glad that he was rescued.

  36. I am glad he was surrendered! (re: today’s blog…not this one). He needs a safe loving home.

  37. I am so glad this story has a happy ending. Kudos and a great big thank you to everyone who helped rescue this precious pup!

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