A 14-year-old girl is being remembered for her kindness and infectious smile after she drowned in an Edmonton pond Saturday while trying to rescue her neighbour's dog.
Khrystyna Maksymova had been walking the Chihuahua-Papillon with her sister when it chased some geese into a pond.
"She was a very sweet and polite girl, she absolutely loved animals and was showing her parents she could handle the responsibility of a dog by walking a few other dogs in the community," neighbour Vanessa Freeman told the Edmonton Journal.
It was Freeman's dog, Bullet, that Maksymova had swam out to save.
Maksymova was a strong swimmer, but found herself stuck in the mud and reeds during her rescue attempt, according to Global News.
Looking onto the pond, her 11-year-old sister lost sight of her through the reeds, despite hearing her cries for help.
Edmonton Fire Rescue Services responders also got stuck in the mud and reeds. Maksymova was pulled out of the pond after 2 p.m. and taken to hospital where she later died, The Sun reports.
A fundraising campaign launched Sunday to help the family cover funeral costs exceeded its $15,000 goal in less than a day.
One donor commented his family is "heartbroken" by Khrystyna's sudden death, and recalled the teen as a "beautiful, kind girl with a smile always on her face."
He wrote, "We will miss seeing her rollerblading around the neighbourhood."