Russians who gathered near a pond to enjoy a Saturday outing in the Crimean city of Simferopol had their fun interrupted when a dog slipped into the ice-covered water. A video of the incident, which emerged last weekend, opens with the submerged dog swimming in place, unable to find its way back onto land.
While most of the onlookers stood aside unsure of what to do, one brave man took action. In spite of the negative-five degrees Celsius temperature (23 degrees Fahrenheit) and biting, icy winds that made the temperature feel even colder, the man dressed down to his skivvies in order to keep his clothes dry and prepared to enter the frigid pond.
He dipped in his toe first, after which he dunked in both legs, kicking and breaking some of the ice surrounding the snow-covered pier he had been standing on.
The man then jumped into what must have been unimaginably cold pond water and started swimming towards the struggling dog. He made deliberate strides towards the confused canine before pushing and guiding it towards the shore.
Once the man regained his footing at the edge of the pond, he picked up the dog in his arm and made his way upward. He lost his footing in the snow and dropped the dog, but it bounced right back up and trotted away after shaking off some of the freezing water.
It looks like there is a boy waiting for the dog with a leash at the end of the video, which makes the video seem even more incredible—the man who jumped into the frozen pond wasn’t even the dog’s owner. He was just a Good Samaritan who, like the rest of those in the video, had been enjoying a snowy day in Simferopol’s Gagarin Park before coming across the distressed dog.
It’s scary to consider how much differently this story would have turned out if the kind-hearted Russian man had not been on the scene. Luckily, thanks to his selfless deed, no one will have to. No one is more deserving of a steamy bowl of soup, a cup of hot cocoa, and a top spot on Santa’s Good List than this guy.