CHICAGO (CBS) – A dog found itself in a precarious position Friday afternoon – trapped on ice along Chicago’s lakefront — but was rescued with the help of compassionate kayaker.
Emergency officials were called to the scene around 3:30 p.m. at Touhy Beach on the Far North Side. There, they found a confused Nova Scotia Retriever stranded on the ice.
A Chicago Fire Department helicopter and fire boat shooed the animal closer to shore. More than once the dog fell into the 34-degree water, only to scramble out again.
Eventually, Dave Kehnast of Rogers Park — who heard about the rescue call from a neighbor — was waiting in his kayak, wearing a wetsuit. The 37-year-old winter surfer help herd the swimming dog to land but kept his hands to himself.
“I got really close to him but he wanted bite me. I stayed on him … and I just sort of hustled him along,” Kehnast told CBS 2. “I don’t know if he realized the exact amount of danger he was in.”
The pooch bolted after it reached land but was later picked up by animal-control officers at Touhy and Sheridan.
It turns out the dog was named Pifas. The three-year-old ran away nine days ago, his worried owner Nerijus Steponacitius told reporters outside the city’s Animal Control Department. The animal was being held overnight.
Steponacitius, who was expected to pick up Pifas Saturday, was grateful to Kehnast, the kayaker.
“I need to see him and probably buy him a dinner,” he said.