On one of the coldest days of the year, two dogs are lucky to be alive thanks to a couple of Rogers Park residents who scooped them out of icy Lake Michigan.
A female pit bull and male Aussie mix breed apparently were abandoned by their owners Tuesday on Howard Street Beach. Around 11:30 a.m., Reva Meadows and her neighbor spotted the dogs walking on the iced-over lake.
As Meadows tried to coax the dogs to shore, the pit bull fell through the ice. A neighbor's dog ran out and also fell through as the Aussie mix began to sink. The two residents ran into the water, pulling the dogs from under the ice and bringing them to the beach.
"I didn't think about it at the time," Meadows said of going into sub-zero degree water. "I don't think I felt it until afterward. It's like these dogs knew that we saved them."
Neighbors pulled together to find the dogs' owners, Meadows said. During their effort, someone said they saw the owners take the dogs' leashes off on the beach and let them go.
Tuesday's temperatures lingered in the single digits.
Meadows stayed with the dogs overnight and took them to nearby doggie daycare Bark Bark Club, where owner Patti Colandrea is now footing the bill for a vet and looking for a home where the two can be together.
The dogs, who have been renamed Honey ("because she is so sweet," Colandrea said) and Howard ("for the beach"), are inseparable.
"They definitely are a team," Meadows said. "I watched them all night long. The male dog will not eat until the pit bull eats. They look out for each other."
Anyone willing to give the dogs a home or offer donations to help pay their vet bills can call Colandrea at Bark Bark Club at 773-989-8807 ex. 2.