When an Aurora, Illinois woman’s dog ventured too far from home and fell through an ice-covered pond, she didn’t hesitate to go after her.
Cathy Medernach pulled out her canoe and decided to try and save her beloved family dog herself, a move that nearly cost her her life.
As the brave pet parent attempted to save her dog, Bailey, she fell out of the canoe and joined her in the icy water.
“Is this the way I am going to go?”, Medernach thought as she plunged in the freezing cold pond. “I thought, this is not the way this is going to (end),” Medernach said. “I started yelling at the top of my lungs for help. I saw my son come running down. I told him to go back into the house and call for help. When I was screaming bloody murder, I heard sirens coming. I kept talking to my dog that we were going to be OK.”
Luckily, Cathy’s 8-year-old son saw the entire incident and immediately called his father for help. “He told me the dog was in the pond and couldn’t get out,” Eric Medernach told the Aurora Beacon-News. “He started crying and said Mom was in the pond with the dog, and neither one of them could get out. At that time, my heart dropped.”
Thankfully, hero first responders soon arrived on the scene and were able to pull them both to safety.
The mom said she got too caught up in trying to save her pet and does have some regrets looking back. “I really wanted to save my dog. There was nothing else that I was thinking of,” Cathy told Aurora Beacon-News.
“She did go under twice and yelped at one point. I kept talking to her to calm her down,” she said of the family dog before she grabbed the canoe and a broom because she couldn’t find the oar in time.
“I thought that I could push the boat along, but that didn’t work for me,” she said. “When I took the first paddle, the boat flipped and I fell into the water.”
“I thought that I would be able to get myself back into the canoe, but I didn’t have the strength. I tried using the ice as leverage, but that didn’t work. I have bruises on my legs to show for it.”
After Medernach was saved, hero divers in wet suits went in to save the dog, who was much further out in the pond. While Cathy was only in the water for about 15 minutes, the brave pooch was in for 30 before she was rescued. “She is a tough dog,” the fire chief said.
“We still need to watch Bailey,” Medernach said. “She was suffering from hypothermia for about a half-hour. She’s wearing a shirt the hospital gave her. She’s not leaving our side.”
Strangely enough, Eric Medernach is both a firefighter and a paramedic who told Aurora Beacon-News he is well aware of these types of dangers this year and is proud of his son for doing the right thing.
“I had a million thoughts rush through my mind from previous experiences,” he said. “Sometimes the outcome isn’t always like it was today.”
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[Image Source: Aurora Beacon-News via Cathy Medernach / HANDOUT]