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Dog rescued after
75-mile ODYSSEY on ice floe
By MONIKA SCISLOWSKA
Updated: 01/29/2010 01:33:36 AM PST
WARSAW, Poland - A frightened, shivering dog was rescued
after floating at least 75 miles on an ice floe down Poland's Vistula
River and into the Baltic Sea, officials said Thursday. Now his
saviors just have to figure out who really owns him.
Four people have already claimed him, but so far rescuers say there's
been no wagging tail of joy from the miracle dog they nicknamed
The dog's frozen odyssey came as Poland suffers through
a winter cold snap, with temperatures dipping to below minus 4 degrees
The thick-furred male dog was found adrift Monday 15 miles out in
the Baltic Sea by the crew of the Baltica, a Polish ship of ocean
scientists carrying out research.
Researcher Natalia Drgas said Thursday the rescue was difficult
and at one point it seemed the dog had drowned.
"It was really a tough struggle. It kept slipping into the
water and crawling back on top of the ice. At one point it vanished
underwater, under the ship and we thought it was the end, but it
emerged again and crawled on an ice sheet," Drgas said.
At that point, the crew lowered a pontoon down to the water and
a crew member managed to grab the dog by the scruff of his neck
and pull him to safety.
Too weak to shake off the frigid water, Baltic was dried and wrapped
in blankets. After he warmed up, he was massaged, fed and soon got
on his feet to seek company, Drgas said.
A firefighter in Grudziadz, on the Vistula river 60 miles inland
Bay of Gdansk, said the dog was spotted Saturday floating on ice
through the city. Firefighters tried to save him but could not approach
the dog due to shifting ice sheets, said the officer, who spoke
on condition of anonymity.
The Baltica crew, now moored in the port city of Gdynia, have been
searching for the dog's owners, ship captain Jerzy Wosachlo said.
So far four people have claimed him, but Baltic has not claimed
any of them back, Drgas said. The dog didn't welcome the first two
people to come for him, keeping his distance and showing no recognition
toward a couple on Wednesday and a woman on Thursday who both said
he was theirs. Two other would-be owners were still en route to
Gdynia for a possible reunion.
Once in port, the brown-and-black mongrel was taken to a veterinarian,
who found him in surprisingly good condition and estimated his age
at around 5 or 6 years old. Veterinarian Aleksandra Lawniczak said
the 44-pound (20-kilogram) dog was clearly frightened but in strikingly
good shape and had suffered no frostbite.
A dog with thick fur and a layer of fat can survive such cold conditions
for as long as eight days if it has water to drink, Lawniczak said.
She described Baltic as a friendly dog who was clearly well treated
before getting lost.
Wosachlo said the research team is prepared to adopt Baltic if his
original owner is never found.
Ricky after eye removal surgery
Ricky, a blind and hearing impaired shih tzu is recovering well
from eye removal surgery. This formally unhappy pup was in constant
discomfort from his dry eye condition but is now a happy, healthy
and romantic guy who spends his days flirting with the other dogs
and romping around the facility proving once again, love and care
help US help BUBBLY
Cuteodyssey Rescue is primarily a Shih Tzu Rescue (although we
do take other breeds and mixes), located in LA MESA, CA. The government
will classify us as a 501 (c)(3) non profit organization. We are
not yet but hope to be proudly listed in Guidestar, the national
database of non- profit organizations. We love dogs and we love
to see them enhance a life. Our goals are two-fold. First, we want
to save shelter dogs and secondly, we want your life to be improved
by matching a wonderful dog to a safe, loving and caring family.
No one should have to live without a furry little friend, when there
are so many of these little munchkins needing loving homes.
Nowadays, we visit area shelters and rescue small dogs, usually
between 3 and 15 pounds. Occasionally, we will also have dogs available
that have been relinquished by their owners, for one reason or another.
All our dogs are given their basic shots, rabies vaccine, flea and
tick treatment, worming medication, vet checked, micro chipped,
and are spayed/neutered. We keep the dog in our home for some TLC
and evaluation in regard to its temperament, socialization, and
health, in order to make the best possible fit for a prospective
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