Like many other breeds with short coats, Shar-Peis are really not equipped to withstand cold temperatures or the winter months outdoors. However, that did not keep a Shar-Pei named Lilly from venturing away from home and finding herself in quite the precarious situation. On a cold winter’s day in December, firefighters in New Jersey were out on a call. There was a large fire that overtook a chicken coop (don’t worry, all the chickens survived!) and the group from Oaklyn Fire Department Station 18 were on the scene. As they were leaving, they were told about another animal that needed their help: a group on the shore noticed Lilly. She was walking across the very thin ice covering Newton Creek and accidentally fell in the water.
Snow was falling and temperatures were dropping; Lilly was in desperate need of their help. The group immediately jumped into action, donning their dry suits as they departed from the fire house. Two men, Battalion Chief Greg Grudzinski and Captain Fred Bartling, crawled out to the dog on the thin ice to rescue him. Greg actually ended up breaking through the ice in order to get to Lilly the dog. Poor Lilly had her head above the water and was paddling to stay afloat, but she was getting very tired. They arrived just in time, loading her into a sled and safely pulling her to the shore of the Creek.
Lilly seemed okay, but she was very tired and shivering and had sustained some cuts from her fall through the ice. They estimated she had been in the water for 15 minutes or so, which was incredible. The firefighters wrapped Lilly up in a warm, dry blanket and took her back to the firehouse to warm up. She did not have her collar on, but they were quickly able to find her owners and reunite them!