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Susan Atkinson and her dog Stormy are safe and sound thanks to 11-year-old Taylor Millett, left, and 13-year-old Jonah MacIntyre who, after hearing her cries of help, pulled Atkinson and her dog up onto the shore from the icy river.
Susan Atkinson and her dog Stormy are safe and sound thanks to 11-year-old Taylor Millett, left, and 13-year-old Jonah MacIntyre who, after hearing her cries of help, pulled Atkinson and her dog up onto the shore from the icy river. - Dave Mathieson

OXFORD, N.S. – Ice can be unforgiving. Susan Atkinson found that out the hard way.

On Jan. 9, at about 11 a.m., Atkinson’s golden retriever, Stormy, ran out onto the river in Oxford and fell through the ice.

“She crawled on her hands and knees out onto the ice to grab her dog and she fell through the ice as well,” said Taylor Millett.

Luckily for Atkinson, two young entrepreneurs were nearby. Eleven-year-old Millett and 13-year-old Jonah MacIntyre were shoveling driveways to earn extra money.

“We were out shoveling and I heard a girl yelling for help and we went to check and see who it was,” said Millett, a Grade 6 student at Oxford Regional Education Centre. “We went to her yard and saw her down in the river, and she was stuck at the bank because the bank was over her head.”

Atkinson struggled in chest-deep water for what she felt was close to 30 minutes trying to get back onto shore. Once to the river bank, she could no longer move, and that’s when she started to yell for help.

At first, Millett and MacIntyre used a shovel to try to reach her but it wasn’t long enough.

Meanwhile, Atkinson’s neighbor came outside to see what was going on.

“She saw two kids running in her backyard, so she went to check it out and I asked her to get a rope,” said Millett.

Once the rope arrived, Atkinson hooked it to Stormy’s collar, and then she held onto the rope as Millett and MacIntyre pulled them both up the bank.

Atkinson was brought to the neighbors and, soon after, paramedics arrived.

“They waited with her until the ambulance came to check her out,” said Taylor’s mom, Jennifer Millett.

She said she is very proud of her son.

“It makes me feel like I’ve done something right. Like I’ve raised him well,” said Jennifer.

Millett says he feels good about being able to help Atkinson, and said there was only one moment where he was a little bit hesitant.

“I was a little bit scared because I didn’t want to trespass onto somebody else’s property,” said Millett.

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