Dogs and delivery drivers have a long-standing history, often with the dog leading the attack against the mailman thinking he’s a trespasser.
There are often exceptions to this and Ryan Arens is certainly one; being an animal lover, an ex veterinarian and a UPS driver.
One day, he even went above and beyond to stop his delivery truck to save a dog from drowning in an icy cold lake.
From Bozeman, Montana, he was on a job one day on a cold December night when he made a delivery he would never forget.
As he was driving past an icy pond, he heard the desperate calls of a dog he explains, “this dog was screaming and crying and going crazy,” he says to the Great Falls Tribune. “I could see the dog trapped about 10-15 feet off of shore, with ice all around it.”
So he immediately stopped the van and jumped out to help the animal in need, he realised that this dog’s life was completely in his hands. “I know I had to get her. Help wasn’t going to make it.”
When he arrived at the scene, there was an older man who had failed to get the dog with a rowboat, so Ryan decided to try it himself.
“I slid the boat out onto the ice, using it to distribute my weight,” he says. “I shimmed out to where the ice was thin.”
But it was difficult to through the ice to the dog in need, so he decided to jump in the icy water himself.
Thankfully, the rescue went well and he got to the pup just in time, “she was starting to go under,”
“I didn’t think—I just knew what I had to do,” says Ryan. “The veterinarian said that 2 degrees colder and Sadie would have gone into cardiac arrest. The timing was perfect.”
The man who was already at the scene lived just around the corner, so they both went back there where both Ryan and the dog warmed themselves up with a hot shower.
When the story eventually broke, PETA honored him for his bravery with a Compassionate Action Award.
But just like all other humble heroes, Bryan didn’t see himself as one, just an animal lover who did what anyone else would’ve in his shoes.
“I personally feel that a majority of my coworkers and people that I surround myself with would have done the same thing I did if the situation presented itself to them,” he wrote on Facebook. “I am glad I did what I did no matter the danger.”
The self-confessed dog lover is human to a 15-year-old Malamute, so him saving the dog was without question. “Animals are my weakness. It was the highlight of my 14-year UPS career.”
A short while after the rescue, Ryan was reunited with the pup he saved, named Sadie, she was also very happy to see him again.
“This dog had a whole lot of life left in her, and I’m really glad I was able to act when I did,” Ryan said. “She’s a sweetheart.”