An amazing story of how Edmonton’s Adam Shaw and his dog Rocky rescued Krymzen and Samara Sunshine is a heart warming story that shows the bravery of strangers and how proud we are of these heroes.
The man was out for a walk in a city park with his wife, kids and dog Rocky when they heard the commotion. Shaw and Rocky eventually were able to rescue the two girls who were floating on the North Saskatchewan River.
The girls’ father, Cory Sunshine, said the two girls -- Krymzen, 10, and Samara, 9 -- were out sledding with friends in the late afternoon.
"I'm very grateful for Adam Shaw and his dog," Sunshine said, according to the CBC. "My girls are safe and sound. He is truly our angel."
"We looked down to see one young girl floating in the river and her sister trying to pull her out," Shaw said Monday at a firehall news conference. "We tried to yell to them to hang onto the ice and stay where they were if they could."
Shaw first rescued Krymzen, but Samara was floating down the river. Rocky swam out to Samara who was disappearing under water. Held on to Rocky’s leash and the dog got back to Shaw, who dragged the girl out. The two girls spent the night in hospital and are fine.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, citizens are praising the pair.
“Adam Shaw and dog Rocky. True Canadian heroes. Congratulations on rescue of 2 young girls,” tweeted Mike Taylor.
Shaw says Rocky is an "adventurous" dog who likes to go in and out of the water. "He's always shocking us with jumping off the ice and stuff like that his whole life, so I knew that he could jump in the water and swim back, no problem," he told the Canadian Press.
"I think he knew something out of the ordinary was going on. After it all happened, we were sitting on the shore and he's a pretty active dog, he's usually running around and stuff, but he came and sat down beside me and beside the girl and he didn't move," Shaw told CP.
Here are more accolades for the pair.
#AdamShaw and his dog Rocky are my heros. "Father of girls pulled from Edmonton river praises rescuer" http://t.co/gZxLC7VFmm
Ok. Now I'm crying MT: @alissairei: Incredible :man & dog rescue two girls from icy river. Way to go, Adam and Rocky! http://t.co/h8LvZwFhWg
Great Video of Rocky and his owner Adam, during a ceremony to honer them for saving two girls #dogs #mansbestfriend http://t.co/GOTZEJ9gUO
Meet Rocky - the dog who helped his Good Samaritan owner rescue two girls from the river on Sunday. #yeg #CTVYEG http://t.co/zDKxL7BKxW
Adam Shaw and his dog Rocky of #YEG are true heroes. What an amazing story! http://t.co/6YwSDKRcEp
Adam Shaw and dog Rocky. True Canadian heroes. Congratulations on rescue of 2 young girls.
#realhero A nice up beat story for a change. http://t.co/FQN3H9Y9z0
Adam Shaw. Hero.
When two young girls, aged 6 and 9, fell through the ice on a river, Adam Shaw and his dog Rocky dove into the... http://t.co/bjk2z4zUP0
Heartwarming story to start your day: #Hero says dog helped save girls from icy river http://t.co/eepNbqchCQ
HEROIC MAN AND DOG SAVE THE LIVES OF TWO YOUNG GIRLS...Adam Shaw and Rocky heroically came to the aid of two... http://t.co/UdLGLHDtyz
Adam Shaw of #Edmonton, your heroic deeds saved the life of 2 girls! Well done and may god bless you and your family!
@yeg Adam Shaw and Rocky do deserve a medal from Edmontonians for their bravery saving 2 lives.City Hall should award both a medal.
What an amazing story! Adam Shaw and his lab-husky Rocky rescue 2 girls from North Saskatchewan River http://t.co/hRwPXYFStZ #feelgood
Props to Adam Shaw and his dog Rocky. http://t.co/sP1IlD1iBW #yeg #hero
Krymzen Sunshine was rescued over the weekend with her sister Samara.
Original version of the story from Canadian Press
EDMONTON - Adam Shaw was taking an Easter stroll with his wife, two young children and the family dog when they heard the screams.
It sounded at first as if kids were cavorting in the spring sunshine in a northeast Edmonton park.
But Shaw and his wife, Kelsey, quickly realized that two girls had been playing on ice near a footbridge and had fallen into the bone-chilling water of the wide North Saskatchewan River.
"We looked down to see one young girl floating in the river and her sister trying to pull her out," he recalled Monday at a firehall news conference. "We tried to yell to them to hang onto the ice and stay where they were if they could."
After asking his wife to dial 911, Shaw called his eight-year-old lab-husky-cross Rocky to his side and together they scrambled down the steep bank through tangles of bushes and onto the river ice.
By now the second girl, 9, had fallen in.
Shaw managed to pull her six-year-old sister out reasonably quickly.
"The ice was still fairly solid where she was and I was able to pull her out. I told her to head back to shore and stay there and wait for help."
But even in those few moments, the situation grew more dire.
"The second girl had floated quite a ways down the river. She was bobbing in and out. We could barely see her, so we started running down the ice, trying to get close to her."
He yelled out to her so she knew he was there. He asked her if she could swim closer to the ice. But she said she was really cold and couldn't move her arms or legs.
That's when things got even worse. Shaw was trying to throw Rocky's leash to the girl when he fell in and Rocky fell in with him. That's when Shaw "got scared for myself."
"It was breath-taking. It was very cold."
But the adrenalin was pumping and he just kept going.
Man and dog tried to pull themselves back to shore, but the thinning ice kept collapsing beneath them.
"It kept breaking, kept breaking."
Rocky finally managed to get his front paws on the ice.
"I pushed his back end up so he was on the ice, then used the leash and him to pull myself up on the ice."
Shaw realized he needed to try a different approach if he wasn't going to become a victim.
"I just really didn't want to fail," Shaw said.
By this time, he couldn't see the second girl. He said it seemed as if his eyes searched for her a long time along the expanse of open water.
"I started to look around and I couldn't see her. She had gone underneath the water and I thought she was gone. She popped up ... down the river and she was still screaming and I started to run after her again."
Shaw and his dog got as close as they could.
"I put the leash around Rocky and pushed him to get in the water. I told her I was going to get him to jump in and if she could grab a hold of his leash, we could get her back to the ice."
Rocky, a burly canine with a greying muzzle, jumped in right beside the girl and she managed to cling to his leash.
"I called him back and he swam towards the ice."
Again the ice crumbled as Rocky swam closer with the girl in tow. But Shaw managed to grab the dog and the girl's arm and pull them both to safety. The girl was hypothermic.
He tried carrying her back up the bank, but it was too steep, so they sat down at the edge of the river. Amazingly, despite getting cold and wet, his cellphone rang. It was the emergency rescue team telling him to stay put.
Later, after the girls had been taken to hospital where they were examined and declared fine, Shaw called his mom. He told her he was famished from the exertion and she said she would bring him a burger — and one for Rocky, too.
Shaw said he isn't surprised by his dog's actions.
"He's very adventurous. He's always in and out of the water. He's always shocking us with jumping off the ice and stuff like that his whole life, so I knew that he could jump in the water and swim back, no problem."
He also feels Rocky sensed he had to come through with some heroics.
"I think he knew something out of the ordinary was going on. After it all happened, we were sitting on the shore and he's a pretty active dog, he's usually running around and stuff, but he came and sat down beside me and beside the girl and he didn't move," Shaw said.
"When the rescue team actually approached us, he was growling at them, which is kind of out of the ordinary for him, so I think he was a little scared for me or something."
Rocky has no special training other than spending a lot of time outdoors with Shaw, who has had him since he was a puppy.
Edmonton's fire chief presented Shaw with a fire rescue helmet for his bravery, while Rocky was given a big, rawhide bone he gnawed on enthusiastically.
Shaw said he thought about little else the whole time except getting the girls out of the frigid water.
"They were really scared. They were screaming. I just wanted to help them."
It didn't really hit him until later that night.
"My family came over and we started talking about it, how it could have gone a lot differently. That's when it started to sink in. It worked out well.
"It was a good ending to a scary experience."