Santa Claus to the rescue when dog falls through ice in Okanagan Lake

  • Dec. 13, 2022 5:30 p.m.
Wayne Dorman, dressed as Santa, jumped in to save a dog after it had fallen through the ice on Okanagan Lake near Kelowna’s downtown. (Contributed)Wayne Dorman, dressed as Santa, jumped in to save a dog after it had fallen through the ice on Okanagan Lake near Kelowna’s downtown. (Contributed)
Wayne Dorman, dressed as Santa, jumped in to save a dog after it had fallen through the ice on Dec.11, 2022 (Contributed)Wayne Dorman, dressed as Santa, jumped in to save a dog after it had fallen through the ice on Dec.11, 2022 (Contributed)
Wayne Dorman, dressed as Santa, jumped in to save a dog after it had fallen through the ice on Dec.11, 2022 (Contributed)Wayne Dorman, dressed as Santa, jumped in to save a dog after it had fallen through the ice on Dec.11, 2022 (Contributed)

It was Santa that came to the rescue Sunday (Dec. 11) when a dog fell through the ice of Okanagan Lake near downtown Kelowna.

Wayne Dorman, owner of Dogzies Pet Services, was dressed as Mr. Claus for the Dogzies annual festive walk.

He says he originally thought it was a client’s dog, but it turned out to be a canine belonging to a couple out for a walk by Dolphins statue on Water Street.

“I saw a dog battling to get out, it had fallen through the ice,” he said.

Dorman says it was the call of the wild that took over and he jumped in.

“He was going underneath the whole time. He was trying to climb out of the ice, but I was able to call him to me. Then I just went in…and I just grabbed him.”

Dorman says he’s done rescues before, like pulling people from a burning house, but he’s never had to do an ice rescue for a dog.

“In those instances you always worry about them biting you or freaking out,” said Dorman, who has dedicated his life to working and training dogs.

For Dorman, the incident was a great reminder for his clients that rules should be followed, like keeping dogs leashed in designated areas and making sure the animal has strong recall.

“If you allow your dog to chase and run after animals and after birds, chase a ball without a wait or recall or ‘leave it’ you can end up in that situation. It’s scary. We see stories like this all the time.”

DogsKelownaSanta ClausWinter