Being a hero boils down to one thing: kindness. It’s about showing kindness to complete strangers and helping them out during difficult situations. One man in Buffalo, New York, became a hero after he helped to rescue a stranger’s dog.
Earlier in February, Don Chatten was out enjoying a chilly winter stroll with his two dogs when he was approached by a stranger looking for their dog. The small black dog named Jackson had gone missing earlier in the day. Don said he’d keep an eye out. By the time 3:00 PM in the afternoon rolled around, he hadn’t seen the missing dog and was ready to get his own two pets home. On the walk back to the car, they were passing the pond at Ellicott Island Bark Park, when one of Don’s dogs began to bark at something.
Assuming that it was probably a duck that his dog had spotted, he didn’t pay much attention to the situation.
As he explained to WWLP, Don said, “My dog Milo, he stopped and looked down at the water. I thought he was looking at a duck, or a bird, or something of that nature.”
However, when it came time to get his dogs into the car, Don began experiencing some difficulties.
Don recalled, “I said ‘come on, let’s go,’ so I starting pulling him to go and get in the car, and they both stopped and looked again, and then I heard a faint whimper.”
Hearing the dog’s cry for help, Don went to go have a look and that is when he spotted Jackson trapped in some icy water. Knowing that he needed help, Don immediately called 911. However, he was worried about the amount of time they would take to respond, so he decided to rescue Jackson himself.
— Ed Reilly (@WKBWedreilly) February 15, 2019
As Don attempted to cross the ice on his own, his weight caused the ice to crack, plunging him into the freezing waters. Rather than abandon the rescue and attend to himself, Don continued and managed to save Jackson – returning him to his owner.
According to WKBW, Don said, “I knew it wasn’t real deep in this part because I use to come here when I was a kid.”
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As Don said, “I advised him to take the dog to a vet to be checked out.”
Jackson was treated for hypothermia and spent the night at the vets under observation. By the following morning, he was released to go back home.
Don’s heroic rescue managed to be captured in a series of photo stills by Samantha Kelly, who then uploaded them to Facebook where they went viral.
Don has received a lot of attention, being asked why he would go out of his way to risk his life for a dog that wasn’t his.
To this, he replied, “At first, I was like ‘Okay, what do I do?’ I was kind of panicked a little bit. But once I got down there, I said…well, it’s the dog, or me getting a little wet. I didn’t want all this actually. But it’s good to get recognized for something, and I’ll do it again if it was tomorrow. I mean, I’m a dog lover, and I don’t want to see any dog get hurt, and I’m just glad that I could help.”
You can watch the video below:
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.
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