Dog owner risks his life by plunging into icy pond to rescue his pet
By James Tozer
5 January 2009
Sometimes man's best friend needs a friend too. So when Marc Greenhalgh's cocker spaniel became trapped in the middle of a frozen lake, he jumped in to rescue him.
As these photographs show, he risked his life by smashing a path through the ice and wading through the neck-deep water to reach his pet.
The dog, which had fallen in while chasing ducks, clung to the side of the icy hole with his front paws while Mr Greenhalgh fought his way over.
Rescue mission: Marc Greenhalgh breaks through the icy pond to reach his stricken dog, Jarvis
Getting there: Marc wades closer to Jarvis
He then waded back with the dog, dried himself off and calmly went home to thaw out.
Faced with criticism yesterday that he had risked not only his own life but those of others had he needed rescuing, the 25-year-old bricklayer insisted any dog owner would have done the same.
The drama at Alkrington Woods near Manchester was photographed by university lecturer Julie Brown who was walking her own dogs at the time.
Frosty reunion: Marc guides Jarvis out of trouble
Public spectacle: Onlookers take pictures of the man's dramatic rescue
Yesterday Mr Greenhalgh, who lives with his wife Tricia in Langley, told how he risked his life for Jarvis, the two-year-old spaniel they had chosen at Manchester Dogs' Home three months ago.
'We were going past the frozen pond and my wife said, "You'd better put him on the lead" but I said "He'll be all right, he's not that daft".
'The next thing we knew, he was running on to the ice towards the ducks in the middle, and then of course he fell into the water and couldn't climb out. 'Someone else told me the lake was only 3ft deep, so I took my coat off and went in.'
In reality it is at least twice that depth, with a treacherous layer of silt on the bottom.
Home and dry: Marc Greenhalgh and his dog Jarvis
With nothing to break the 2in thick ice, Mr Greenhalgh simply bashed his way through.
Once Jarvis saw his owner, he managed to haul himself out of the water. 'Then he shook himself which meant my head, which had been the only part of me that was dry, was now soaked as well,' Mr Greenhalgh said.
'After all he'd put me through, I didn't want to rescue him, I wanted to strangle him!'
'Most dog owners would do what I did without a second thought but in future I'm going to make sure he's on a lead near any icy ponds.'