A 1-year-old boxer is back home with her family after a harrowing journey that included a rescue from the icy waters of Lake St. Clair by a brave fisherman.
On Saturday, a gate was left open at the dog's home and Lucy got of her yard in the Masonic and Jefferson area. For nearly two days her family searched for their dog, and it wasn't until late Monday, that Lucy was located due to an observant Jon Szkola.
The St. Clair Shores resident was heading out Monday afternoon to go ice fishing on Lake St. Clair near Emerald City Marina when he spotted something running off in the distance and fall into the water.
Other anglers in the area said the animal falling in the area was too far off, but Szkola said, "I've got to at least try."
A dog owner himself, he added that, "I've got a soft spot for animals."
Still holding his fishing gear, the St. Clair Shores resident walked the out about 150 yards to the 3-foot by 4-foot hole in the ice. As he neared the hole, he could hear Lucy was splashing in the water struggling to escape.
"She was like 'oh my God, help me," Szkola described Lucy's icicle covered whiskers and face when she saw the angler.
Without thinking about his safety, or thin ice, Szkola bent down and with his arms about elbow deep in the water, scooped the dog out of the hole.
He then took off his hoodie to dry the dog, and dried her off and tried to warm her up for about 10-15 minutes before deciding to head back to shore.
But as he picked up his gear, Lucy took off again and ran to the next marina. Undeterred, Szkola followed her tracks and found her under a dock as she tried to climb onto shore.
As he neared shore, he saw the police and fire personnel who were called by the anglers he encountered as ventured out onto the ice.
With the help of another angler by the dock, public safety personnel were able to locate Szkola and Lucy.
The dog was transported to VCA St. Clair Shores Animal Hospital, where she was treated following the incident. After heading home, and taking a shower, Szkola worked with police and the hospital to learn the condition of the dog.
"I am an animal lover," he said. "I hope that someone would do the same for my dog."
He also posted the story of the dog, and a description of Lucy and her purple collar with white bones, on Facebook. It went viral after it was posted on the SCS
Boatworks Facebook page.
Through the post on the
Boatworks Facebook page, and
St. Clair Shores Lost & Found Pets Facebook page, Lucy was able to be reunited with her owners, the Sawka family.
In a ironic twist, Szkola has known the Sawka family for sometime and even visited Lucy when she was a puppy last year.
Lucy was reunited Tuesday evening with her owners Tuesday when Lisa Sawka picked up the dog from VCA St. Clair Shores Animal Hospital.