Adam Shaw and his dog Rocky are heroes today, as the pair cooperated during a miraculous rescue of two girls who had fallen in an icy river in the Canadian city of Edmonton, Alberta. Rocky, an 8-year-old Labrador–Husky mix, even led the crucial part of the rescue himself.
The girls were saved on Easter Sunday.
It started when the two girls — 9-year-old Samara and her 10-year-old sister, Krymzen — were tobogganing in a riverside park and ended up on ice extending from the riverbank, according to CNN.
“From what I was told was,” their father Corey Sunshine said later, “one of the toboggans came off the snowbank and onto the ice, and they were trying to come back and the ice broke.”
Adam Shaw heard the screams. He was walking Rocky nearby, and they rushed to the scene to find the two girls bobbing in the water. He pulled Krymzen to safety, but the 9-year-old was too far out — and her head was periodically disappearing under the freezing water. Shaw called to her.
“She said she couldn’t move her arms, couldn’t move her legs,” Shaw said.
He tried throwing her Rocky’s leash — and then the ice broke under him as well. Shaw and Rocky fell into the icy water. Fortunately, they were able to quickly scramble up, with Shaw pushing his dog up first and then grabbing the leash to haul himself up.
By this point, however, Samara had drifted 50 or 60 yards down the river, and she was still bobbing in and out of the ice-cold water. They chased after her on the ice. Shaw had one last idea to save the girl, and it rested solely on Rocky’s shoulders.
He sent his dog into the water to rescue the girl, alone.
“I put the leash around Rocky and pushed him to get in the water, and I told her if she could get ahold of his leash, we could get her back to the ice,” Shaw said.
Rocky knew what to do. He swam to the girl. The girl got ahold of the leash. He swam back to Shaw.
“I called him back and he swam towards the ice, breaking the ice as he was getting closer trying to get up,” he said. “I managed to grab him and grab the girl’s arm and pull them both up onto the ice.”
Rocky had done it. A fire rescue team raced up the river on a boat shortly thereafter, but Samara, though hypothermic and scared, would be okay. A doctor later told the girl’s mother that “two more minutes, and Samara would have been gone,” according to CTV News.
Later, Fire Chief Ken Block praised the duo while honoring them at the fire station — he also gave Rocky a giant bone.
“These two young ladies are very, very fortunate that such a family happened along and were able to intervene,” Block said. “I guess it’s just a bit of a miracle that everything worked out perfectly.”
Shaw gives the credit to his amazing dog, Rocky: “He’s a terrific dog. He’s very adventurous, always in and out of the water. I knew he could jump in the water and swim back no problem.”