Brothers Jump Into Action When They See a Dog Struggling in a Frozen Lake
Picture this: it’s a cold afternoon on the day after Christmas in Ohio. Two brothers, Kevin and Kory, headed out to Grand Lake to take a walk and some photos of the water. The area is deserted, and the lake is frozen. The boys see something on the lake—a dog—and it looks like it’s struggling.
Despite the setting sun, they sprung into action. Did they save the dog? Read on…
A Walk By The Frozen Grand Lake
Kory Klosterman and his brother Kevin set out to Grand Lake on the day after Christmas to get some air and to take in the sights. Despite the cold, it was a beautiful evening. There was sure to be a glorious sunset.
With Kory’s canoe in tow, they set out to capture the beauty of the setting sun with their camera. But upon arrival, they found the ice still too thick for boating. Kory left the canoe behind and instead focused on capturing the stunning landscape through his camera lens.
What’s That In The Distance?
As the Klosterman brothers watched the sunset over the frozen lake, they noticed a dog struggling to walk on the ice. It looked like it had gotten itself quite far from the shoreline. How had it walked all the way out there?
Suddenly, the dog slipped and fell into the freezing water—it was clinging desperately to the edge. No one else was around to help—the brothers knew they had to act quickly to save the poor pup. If he became too cold, he could lose his grip and drown.
Despite The Danger, Kevin Acted Fast
The boys knew the lake well. They knew its beauty and its dangers—especially when frozen. Although the ice gave the lake the appearance of solid ground, it was anything but. One misplaced footstep could lead to a deadly plunge.
The thin ice presented a danger to people and dogs. The brothers couldn’t believe what they were seeing, nor could they just leave the dog to its fate. Kory called the fire department while Kevin set out with his canoe. Here’s the footage Kory took after he made his call.
With A Life Jacket And His Canoe, Kevin Initiated The Rescue
Kevin was willing to risk himself for the safety of the animal, but he took all possible precautions before doing so. He fastened a life jacket to his chest and calmly pushed the canoe out into the ice. The dog was still standing, but it was occasionally slipping.
The plan was to push the boat out, grab the dog, put him in the canoe, then push it all the way back to the shore. Kory would be on standby while the fire department was on the way.
Sailing On Thin Ice
The Klosterman brothers were put in a difficult position. Walking out onto the thin ice was a huge risk, as Kevin could see that the ice had varying levels of thickness. Patches of ice were ready to give way, as the poor dog out in the distance had already discovered.
Kevin knew that the canoe he was carrying weighed more than the dog that had fallen in, making it almost certain that the ice would break under his weight. He would have to be quick and lucky to succeed.
All Alone Out On The Lake
Kevin was now far out enough to see the breed of the dog—it was a young golden retriever—and it was slipping around in an incredibly dangerous spot. At one point, the dog scrambled back and was half-submerged in the freezing water.
Kevin tried to coax the dog to come over to him while keeping an eye on the ice around him, which was cracking apart. It was a tense moment. Kevin reached across and just about managed to get his hands around the dog’s body.
The Last Few Moments Of Light
The dog was going under the water. Kevin had to plunge both arms into the lake to pull him back out. The dog was tired from all the scrambling. Thankfully Kevin had the strength to pull him out of the water under the last few moments of daylight.
Meanwhile, Kory watched from the shore. The fire department was still nowhere in sight, and his brother was far out on the lake. It seemed his brother had the dog, but would he be able to make it back to dry land?
Keeping The Dog Calm In Slippery Conditions
Although Kevin had managed to get the dog onto his canoe, he was still in defense mode and weary of this stranger, even though he had rescued him. Kevin had to calm the dog before making his way back to the shore in case the dog jumped out back onto the ice.
Although the dog was tired, he still panicked and scrambled around. Kory kept on filming, hoping that the fire department would get there soon, his ears tuned for the sounds of sirens. The light faded more every second.
Putting Himself At Risk Again
Finally, Kevin began to win the golden retriever’s trust, and the dog began to calm down. Once he was sure that the dog would stay put, Kevin carefully lowered himself onto the ice in order to push the canoe back to the shore where his brother was waiting.
Unlike professional rescuers, Kevin was without subthermal protection. When the fire department performs these kinds of operations, they don’t have to worry so much about freezing, thanks to their gear. Kevin, however, only had his canoe and lifejacket to help him.
The Golden Retriever Makes A Run For It
Just when Kevin thought that he was in the clear, the dog decided to try and take the same path on the ice as he had before. But unlike Kevin, he hadn’t realized that the ice was breaking and the water was just about ready to swallow him up. One step forward, one step back.
Kevin eased himself out of the canoe and went to get him. The ice was even more broken, and one false step would open the ice to the frigid water below.
Another Slip, And A Close Call
This time, Kevin couldn’t reach the dog in time, and the golden retriever slipped and fell into a large opening in the ice. But he managed to scramble back to the surface before Kevin could reach him. The short rest that Kevin had given him on the canoe gave him that little stamina he needed.
Even after the tumble into the water, the dog still didn’t trust Kevin or his little boat. So Kevin had to win the dog over once again to save his life.
Pulling The Dog Along To Safety
At this point, Kevin stopped trusting that the dog would instinctively come to safety or stay put in the craft. He pulled the golden retriever along by his collar, whether he liked it or not, and with his other hand, he kept the canoe upright.
The dog, still terrified after its drop into the icy water, resisted at every turn. Adding to the tension was the fact that the sun was almost down. They were running out of time and light. But Kevin was determined to bring this dog home.
Performing A Multitask Rescue
Kevin heaved the canoe back over the ice toward safety while keeping a tight grip on the golden retriever’s collar. Having to reach over this way meant that the rescue took twice as long as it would have if the dog had just been a good boy and stayed still.
Thankfully the ice held firm—or as firm as it needed to with their combined weight. Kory watched his brother struggle back with the canoe. They were so close and yet so far. Help was still nowhere in sight.
Almost Out Of Energy
Kevin was almost out of gas. He had been fighting the pup and pushing them both to safety for several minutes, all in freezing conditions. The dog had tried several times to jump out, but Kevin had just about managed to keep him in.
This wasn’t mere multitasking—it was a great endurance test. Kevin hardly had time to contemplate the icy fate that awaited him at any moment. He was simply too tired. The real question was: did he have it in him to get back to his brother?
Kory Watched Them Slowly Return
Kevin’s rescue mission was not over yet. Once again, the dog jumped out of the canoe when they were so close to the shore. Kevin, who had a hold of the dog’s collar, pulled him back into the canoe with great effort.
The dog was still panicked and determined to escape. Kevin had to use all his strength and calmness to keep the dog inside the canoe. Kevin paddled for four minutes straight until they finally reached the shore. His brother let out a sigh of relief.
The Rescue Was A Success!
Just a few more steps… The dog finally stopped squirming and jumping around, and Kevin was inches from the shore. The rescue was at an end—they had saved this strange job and managed to keep dry in the process! It was thanks to luck and skill that Kevin was able to pull it off.
The brothers had grown up around the lake and knew the risks associated with ice. But they had never seen this strange golden retriever before. Since he was collared, he had an owner. But who?
Help Arrives On The Scene
A few moments after Kevin shoved the canoe back onto solid ground, the red fire truck showed up on the scene. Thankfully, there was nobody left to rescue, but the fire department did make sure that Kevin and the dog were okay.
If Kevin hadn’t gone out, there probably wouldn’t have been enough light to save the dog. The only thing the fire department couldn’t help out with was the dog’s identity or that of its owners. So how did this dog escape in the first place?
Their Rescue Goes Viral On Facebook
Later that night, Kory uploaded the video of the rescue on the Facebook page Friends of Grand Lake with a comment from his brother saying, “Even with the stunning sunset, I hadn’t planned on canoeing or testing the ice tonight.” He added, “Combined the two on a Grand Golden Retriever rescue.”
Of course, the post went viral as hundreds of people congratulated the brothers on their initiative. Their daring golden retriever rescue also helped point them in the direction of the dog’s owner.
The golden retriever—Gunner—had found a way out of his owner’s home while the family was away. He found the lake, but he hadn’t stopped at the ice. He kept going until he realized that he didn’t have full control of his feet.
But Gunner wasn’t just any dog. He was a therapy dog for the son of the family. Not only was Gunner a beloved member of the family, but he was helping out a boy in need. An innocent adventure had almost been the end of him.
The Klosterman’s Video Reunited Gunner With His Family
The brothers intended to find Gunner’s owners, but they didn’t have to try very hard to find them. But their video found them first. Lisa Aller saw the video pop up in her feed one day. She realized that she was watching a video of strangers saving her dog.
The video brought her to tears as she watched her son’s dog teeter over the deadly ice. The family was away for the holidays at the time. They had a dog sitter looking after Gunner while they were gone.
Safe And Reunited With His Family
Lisa recalls being on the edge of her seat watching the video, even before she realized that she was watching her son’s dog almost tumble into an icy fate. She commented on the video, saying, “We can’t thank you enough!” and explaining that they were out of town.
She told the boys that they hadn’t just saved their dog, but they had saved their son’s best friend, too. Gunner has since been reunited with the family and tends to stay away from ice—especially when the lake freezes over.