PHOTOS: Kayaker helps rescue dog from frigid waters

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PHOTOS: Kayaker helps rescue dog from frigid waters

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

From the frigid waters of Lake Michigan to land, a Golden Retriever mix became trapped on the ice before being saved by 37-year-old Dave Kehnast.

AirFOX spotted the dog over the ice, hoping from one piece to another. A kayaker saw the same thing happening and decided to go in for the rescue.

"I was up on the fire escape there on the seventh floor up there and I saw him way out there and so I grabbed the kayak over here and I know that the lake is only a couple of feet deep all the way out to where the ice shelf ends so I knew I'd be fine," Kehnast explains. "And so I grabbed the kayak and went out there."

Then, as people watched, the dog went in the water.

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

"We responded and found the dog quite a distance offshore, maybe close to half a mile off shore, running around on the icebergs out there and falling through to the open water," Chicago Fire Department Deputy District Chief Ron Dorneker says." We used a helicopter to try and move the dog a little closer to shoreline, we brought a boat in."

But even after falling in near freezing water several times, exhaustion had not set in for the dog just yet and the rescue mission continued for at least an hour.

"The dog moved closer to shore where it actually made it in, ran up on the shoreline and then took off running," Dorneker says.

The dog ran around buildings and homes, sometimes stopping for a breath and other times running.

Animal Care and Control eventually picked it up.

"I wanted the dog to live just like any other person out here watching him," Kehnast says. "I have the gear, I have the equipment, I would have been beating myself up if I had just sat there."

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