Kayaker Risks Life to Save Dog Stranded on Ice on Lake Michigan

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This time, man proved to be dog's best friend. According to the Daily Mail U.K., kayaker Dave Kehnast risked exposure to freezing waters so he could save a Golden Retriever mix wandering the ice floats of Lake Michigan.

From his seventh-story fire escape, Kehnast spotted the 3-year-old dog trying to make his way across the lake. Kehnast got into his wetsuit and paddled out in a kayak to the dog, leading the canine through the water back to the Chicago shore.

"I just kept encouraging him, 'here boy, here boy, here boy,'" Kehnast told Fox News. "I got really close to him and he wanted to bite me so ... at that point I could get into the water and just hustled him along."

The rescue proved to be more strenuous than Kehnast originally planned. Overwhelmed and exhausted, the dog was wary of human contact. With assistance from the Chicago Fire Department and a helicopter, the canine finally set all four paws on land an hour after the rescue started.

The incident did not end there. Once on land, the dog took off running, leading rescuers on a brief chase through the buildings surrounding the water. Eventually, animal control officials were able to capture the dog safely and take him to a nearby shelter.

Thanks to the well-publicized rescue, the dog's owner soon came forward. Nerijus Steponavicius said he lost his dog, Pifas, who does not have a history of behavior problems, when his landlord was changing the locks at his apartment in Steponavicius' absence. Pifas and his owner were reunited Sunday after the dog was neutered and microchipped. Warm, well-fed and rested, Pifas was in much better spirits than when he was first recovered.

Steponavicius was so overjoyed to be reunited with his dog that he's spent the last several days searching for Kenhast, and is excited to have an opportunity to thank the man face-to-face for his help.

"The biggest lesson, once again: Keep those dogs on leashes along the lakefront in the wintertime," Chicago Fire Department Deputy District Chief Ron Dorneker told WMAQ-TV. "This is what can happen when they get out there on that ice and they fall through and they get a distance off-shore. It gets to be dangerous for them and for us."

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The looks like a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

February 27 2013 at 10:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Christopher Kostoff

Let this be a lesson to all of us. Dave is a remarkable man and one of the most extraordinary life coaches around. He literally spends his time helping people transform their lives in the most powerful way every day. It is his purpose to serve the the world. But he did not risk his life. Just as he has the tools to help people live life at a higher level, he also had the tools to rescue that dog. Dave loves to surf, and he is one of the only people in the world who surf year round in northern waters like Lake Michigan. He has the tools and equipment to be out there in freezing conditions. He knew he could rescue the dog, and he CHOSE to do it. If we all would just choose to act on our purpose, character, and passions everyday, instead of our fears, judgments, or stresses, imagine what the world could be. The funny thing is, that is exactly what happens when people experience Dave's work.

February 25 2013 at 8:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

An extraordinary act of compassion and courage.

February 25 2013 at 8:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

He did this at great risk, a very extraordinary and humane act of courage.

February 25 2013 at 8:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Echoed praise for Kenhast, especially since the dog tried to bite him... however, i think Steponavicious deserves a special honorable mention for the control he exercised in not strangling his landlord to death for letting his dog loose when he wasn't home. If my landlord did that, it would be very difficult for me to allow him to continue to breath air on this planet.

February 25 2013 at 8:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There are still good people in the world. This story is amazing & I am so glad the owner understands the risk that was taken by Mr. Kenhast & all the other rescue people involved. Plus, I'm glad it led to Pifas being neutered & chipped!

February 25 2013 at 7:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good for Mr. Kehnast for going above and beyond in rescuing the dog!

February 25 2013 at 7:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That is just wonderful Thank you sir!

February 25 2013 at 6:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark Carter

If I got home and found my dog had escaped after some mother***cer Landlord had decided to change locks in my absence you'd be searching for a landlord under the ice. Even if I didn't have a dog - what are you, kidding me. Happily I don't rent anymore and these money-grubbing bastards (see Landlord's - or at least a great many of them) need to know that they can't just do whatever they want as if their tenants are unruly schoolchildren. Ugh! Ugh! I say.

February 25 2013 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mr Kenhast, you are a remarkable man. Thank you so much for going above and beyond to help this dog. As a volunteer at a German Shepherd rescue, I see the opposite side of people all to often. You are to be commended; thank you again!!

February 25 2013 at 6:06 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
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