Driving up the hill, I could see the Animal Control Officer standing by the ice shrouded pond. About 20 feet away was another lady, jus’ standing there.
They were both focused on something splashing around in the water; that something was a dog. So I pulled over to see if I could lend a hand.
She was rushing around the far end of the pond, using her looped-pole to try snagging the floundering animal. However it wasn’t long enough to reach and it was obvious she didn’t want to step into the freezing ice-water.
“Here,” I called to her, “Let me try.”
She briskly shook her head, “You’re not trained to use it.”
By this time the dog was using only one paw to stay afloat. I watched as its head slipped below the ice-encrusted surface several times, each time taking longer to resurface.
I knew it was now or never.
Removing my wallet from my pant pocket, I stuffed it in my jacket and handed them to the female bystander. Then I ran to the far side of the pond and jumped in.
Then with the butt-end my folding lock blade knife, I smashed through the layer of ice. While the pond wasn’t that deep, there was a lot of mud and while slowing me, I didn’t let it stop me as I pushed aside the broken ice fragments to get to the dying animal.
That’s when I realized it wasn’t a dog at all – but rather a coyote. The beast must have sensed I was there to help as it ceased struggling and allowed me to scruff it by the neck and tail, yank it from the water and toss it to the nearby snowy bank.
It laid there, panting heavily as I made my way over to it. As I crawled up on the bank next the coyote, I briskly rubbed its body and pushed down on its skinny chest a few of times to help get its circulation going faster.
With in 20 seconds it jumped to its feet, shook its self vigorously and sprang off towards the hillside. I pulled myself to my feet and walked briskly to my truck, where I knew the warmth of the heater would help stave off the onset of hypothermia.
Somewhere behind me I heard the Officer yell, “Are you fucking crazy?!”
Ignoring her question, I climbed in the cab, turned the ignition on and cranked the heater up. As I sat there enjoying the warmth, the female bystander came over to return my coat, which I quickly pulled on.
The lady then explained that it was her dogs that had chased the coyote into the ice and that the Officer was waiting for the Department of Wildlife to arrive.
Finally she said, “Thank you,” as she asked, “Are you okay?”
As I began to pull back onto the road, I smiled through my chattering teeth, “Y-e-e-s-s-s a-n-n-d-d-d y-y-o-o-u-r-r wel-wel-co-co-co-come.”
And to answer the Officer’s question: I suppose I am crazy.