March 28, 2012

On thin ice

**Calle and Aiken after the accident**

I'm interrupting my daily AZ Spring Break recap for a real life story (Elise's words).  

While in Arizona, Daniella (my sister) and I were talking about our fight or flight reflexes. My sister tends to think (over think?) before she acts in stressful situations and I tend to act and not think.

This all came true for me during the second half of our spring break at home.  

Since it was a nice day, the kids and I took the dogs for a scooter/bike ride/walk around our neighborhood.  The kids wanted to see the pond, our favorite activity in the summer.  It was completely frozen over, so we were throwing rocks on it.  Since none of our big rocks were even denting the ice, I figured I could let Aiken, our 11 year old non-obedient lab, off of his leash.  

Since Aiken is a water lover and lives for the pond, he walked right on the ice. Nothing happened, so I relaxed.  It was a very stupid move on my behalf and I realize that.

When he got to the middle of the pond, the ice broke and he fell in.  Calle, our 10 year curious lab, wanted to see what all the action was and ran over to Aiken and fell in.  

Watching my two dogs scared and struggling in the ice, I didn't think and figured I could save them by walking on the ice.  

All was well until I got to them and then I fell in.....all the way to my neck. 

I was gripping the ice all around me to stay afloat.  I then reached behind me to grab Aiken's collar and pull him out. This was harder than I thought.

I started screaming, "Help me!!"  "Go get help"  "HELP!!!"  I'm usually calm and collected, but I could hear this primal voice coming out of me.  Braden got on his scooter to find me help somewhere.

I just remember thinking that I can't feel my body and I don't think I'm going to be able to do this.

All of a sudden, I was able to pop my 75 pound dog out of the water with ease.  Pretty sure I had angels with me.  Once Aiken was out, I had to turn around the other way to grab Calle.  She is a lot stronger and helped me get her out of the water.  

Now, with one less shoe, I had to get out of the freezing ice.  I somehow did it and crawled to the ground.  I didn't realize that my body was in shock until I was safely on the ground and was hyperventilating.  Fear, shock and ice cold.

At this point, my kids were hysterical as they watched the dogs and I go through this.  Mr. Will kept telling me that he was going to run home to get me dry clothes and that he was going to call someone to get my lost shoe out of the water.  

The kids told me over and over again that we are never going to the pond again.  I then began our 1/2 mile walk home in completely soaked clothes and with one shoe.  Not a pleasant feeling in 40 degree weather.  

When we got home, Elise started a hot bath for me and was still crying.  

I don't know what I was thinking when I walked on the ice, but I know that I was not going to let our dogs die in front of me or the kids. Would I do it again?  You bet!  But, I sure hope I NEVER have to and am smarter to never let that happen again.  

I'm so sorry kids that mommy scared you so bad and I'm so proud of you for staying brave and not going on the ice after me.  

Nice warm hugs to all!


Daniella said...

Seriously, your accident still has me freaked for you! I am glad you have the "fight" genes to be able to survive that and save your furry kids. My "flight" genes need some practice. :-)

Heath {aka} Mom, Mama, Pea, or Heathdogg {that one just stuck} said...

SUZANNE!!!! I am so glad that you are okay!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh. Crazy story but I'm very happy to hear you are all safe!