Cold weather can be a danger to dogs, even those with thick coats. They’re susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia. So one dog was recently in real danger when she got trapped in one of the coldest places imaginable: a piece of sea ice in the Arctic!
According to CNN and originally reported by Russian media, the dog, a Samoyed named Aika, had wandered off from her village during a walk and ended up stuck on a frozen block of sea ice. She was there for over a week.
It’s hard to imagine anyone would’ve found the tiny dog deep into all that ice — but thankfully, one crew happened to come along and see her.
The crew of a Russian icebreaker ship, the Alexander Sannikov, was passing through the ice fields when the dog came running up to the side of the ship.
Realizing she was stranded, the quickly got to work luring Aika to safety.
“We put out the ladder, by which the dog climbed aboard on its own,” navigation assistant Evgeny Hagibin told Russian 1, per CNN.
Thankfully, Aika was in good shape, still wagging her tail. While the Samoyed is well-adapted to the cold, with a thick double coat suited to their native Russia, it’s still remarkable that Aika survived in the elements that long.
But Aika was safe, and warm, at last thanks to her new friends aboard the icebreaking ship.
The crew contacted the local village, and got in touch with Aika’s owners. “A few hours later, the animal was safely returned to the village,” Hagibin said, according to Reuters.
His family was happy to have him back, and said it’s unusual for Aika to get separated like that.
“The dog didn’t go anywhere without us, we have no idea how she got there,” said owner Svetlana Chereshneva.
Finally, Aika was home at last, happy to be back on dry land and grateful for her sailor heroes.
Thank you to this crew for saving Aika! What a miracle she survived this ordeal.