Good Samaritan saves family dog that wandered onto frozen lake in Central Park

CENTRAL PARK, Manhattan (WABC) -- A Manhattan family is grateful for the kind act of a stranger who saved their dog.

Svein Berg was walking his dog Nutmeg near the Boat House during designated off leash hours January 28.

That's when she spotted ducks on the lake, and there was no stopping her.

"I ran down and tried to call her but there was duck poop out there, which is a delicacy, I think. She wouldn't come," Berg said.

Nutmeg continued to walk out on the ice and Berg grabbed a nearby safety ladder hoping to lure the dog towards him.

"I ran over the bridge and tried to call on other side," he said.

Meanwhile, Aaron Pedroza was watching it all unfold, and by now, Nutmeg was in the bone chilling water about 30 feet from shore.

"She looked pretty distressed," Pedroza said. "I didn't know how long dogs could be in the water like that."

Moving quickly, Pedroza put the ladder down and climbed onto it, inching closer to the pup.

"I got kind of close to her, then the ice broke," he said.

Now, both were bobbing in the frigid lake.

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The 8-year-old rescue Labrador retriever, who wears custom-made skates, was in Central Park to help raise funds for the Animal Vision Foundation.


Pedroza was able to get back on top of the ice and reached for Nutmeg, but the ice cracked again.

He gave it one more go.

"I grabbed her with my left arm, and I threw her on the ice and I climbed out myself," Pedroza said. "It's funny, somebody said, 'The ice isn't stable.' I said, 'I kind of figured that.'"

Once home, Nutmeg slept for hours. Pedroza now considers the pup part of his family.

All are now good friends and relieved the ordeal is behind them.

"Our kids adore her," Olga Berg said. "We would all be devastated if anything happened to her."

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