Belfast Telegraph

Dog owner’s thanks for local kindness

A local woman whose dog got trapped under an icy pond in Victoria Park wants to thank those who came to her aid.

Rhianna Notaro (28) was walking her pet shih-tzu Poppy last Monday, February 1, when the unsettling incident occurred.

Spotting ducks on the other side of the lake, an inquisitive Poppy chased after them, ending up trapped in the cold water.

Speaking to The CT, Rhianna said events “turned to a blur” once Poppy entered the water as three kind passerby’s stopped to offer assistance.

“Poppy spotted ducks at the other side of the pond in Victoria Park and bolted over to them,” she said.

“But the lake wasn’t frozen the whole way across and when she went into the water she got trapped under the icy part and was unable to get back out.”

It was then, in what Rhianna describes as a “blind panic”, that she also entered the water, breaking the ice as she went and calling for help.

“As I went into the water a man walking with his dog and grandson came straight to my rescue,” she said.

“He helped me and Poppy get out of the water and made sure I was ok, before he had to go back and tend to his own dog.

“I was covered in cuts and bruises and very shocked by the whole ordeal.

“Two other ladies, who had seen what had

happened from the other side of the lake, then made their way over to me to see if I was ok.

“One of the ladies took a blanket from her baby’s pram and wrapped Poppy in it.

“All I could think about was getting her home.”

Rhianna added that when she got home and made sure Poppy was alright, she realised she wasn’t sure if she had thanked the people for their kindness.

“I want those who came to my rescue to know that what they did changed my whole attitude towards the people living in Northern Ireland,” said Rhianna.

“It had never occurred to me before that people could be so kind.”

Rhianna and Poppy have since ventured back into Victoria Park, but Poppy has stayed firmly on the lead and hasn’t ventured near any ducks.

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