A Montana UPS driver was mid-route delivering packages when he risked his own life to save a dog that had fallen through the ice and into a frozen pond.
Ryan Arens is an avid animal lover, sharing his heart and home with a dog of his own. And, as a UPS driver, one of his favorite benefits was meeting so many animals along his route. “Animals are my weakness. It was the highlight of my 14-year UPS career,” Arens told Fox News.
It’s no surprise, then, that when he heard a dog in distress while delivering packages just before the holidays last month, Arens stopped mid-route to help.
Arens was in the process of delivering a package along his Bozeman, Montana route when he heard a dog “screaming and crying and going crazy.” He quickly dropped off the package and drove his truck to a nearby pond, where a dog had fallen through the ice.
“I could see the dog trapped about 10-15 feet off of shore, with ice all around it,” Arens said. An older man was in a row boat, trying to reach the dog, but having trouble breaking through the ice to get closer. So, Arens sprung into action.
“I stripped to my boxers and got the guy out of the boat. Then, I slid the boat out onto the ice, using it to distribute my weight,” Arens said. “I shimmied out to where the ice was thin.”
As he approached the dog, Arens, too, fell through the thin ice and into the frigid water. Thinking quickly, he swam to the distressed dog, grabbed her collar, and dragged her back to the thicker ice. Together, Arens and the dog slid across the ice and back to shore, where a bystander wrapped them in blankets.
“We took the dog inside the older guy’s house and got in the shower together to warm up,” he said. Authorities arrived shortly after and were able to reunite the dog, Sadie, a 2.5 year old Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, with her grateful family.
Incredibly, Arens returned to his route after the ordeal, delivering about 20 more packages before heading home for the night!
Weeks later, Arens himself was reunited with the pup he saved when he delivered a package to her owners’ home. When he walked up to the home, he recognized Sadie right away. “She was freaking out, and when he let her out she ran to me,” he said. “She must have remembered me. It sure made me feel good,” he told the Great Falls Tribune. “This dog had a whole lot of life left in her, and I’m really glad I was able to act when I did. She’s a sweetheart.”