As these pictures show, devoted Marc Greenhalgh risked life and limb saving his trapped pet from the middle of a freezing lake.
Mr Greenhalgh, 25, a bricklayer, said he was walking with his wife, Trisha, 24, when the dog ran onto the frozen water while chasing a duck.
But what the pet – named Jarvis – didn’t realise, was that the middle of the lake wasn’t frozen. And as he bounded across, he fell into the freezing water.
Mr Greenhalgh, who has only had the two-year-old rescued cocker spaniel for the past two months, said:”It certainly wasn’t how I planned to start the New Year.
“Me and my wife were walking through the park and the dog was off the lead. He started to chase the ducks and ran straight into the middle of the pond – and into the water.
“To start with, we were shouting at him to come out. Then there was a crowd of about 10 or 15 people around all trying to get him out.
“After about five minutes I realised he wasn’t coming. We tried a branch but he was too far out.
“So it was either me or the wife who was going to go in. And I would have been in trouble if the wife went in, so that was it.”
Mr Greenhalgh said the ice on the Alkrington Woods’ lake, in Middleton, Greater Manchester, was thicker than he thought – and the water deeper
He said: “It was extremely cold. Someone had said I would be able to wade in and get Jarvis as it wasn’t that deep.
“At one stage, though, it was up to my neck. I was so cold.”
And when Mr Greenhalgh, who lives in Greater Manchester, finally got back to dry land, he said there was more sympathy for the spaniel than for him.
He said: “When we both got out I was so cold. The crowd that was gathered started petting Jarvis and they were definitely more concerned about him than me!
“I had to jog back to the car and get the heat on straight away.”
Jarvis, though, does not seem to have learned his lesson.
Mr Greenhalgh said:”This happened on New Year’s Day and we’ve been walking in the woods since then.
“But I keep him firmly on the lead now. He wants to be off chasing the ducks but, even if he hasn’t learned his lesson, I’ve learned mine.”