3 N.S. cadets receive commendation for rescuing woman, dog who had fallen through ice

Army Cadets Jonathan Pyrovolos, 14, Aaron Day, 18, and Caleb Wilson, 17, received the Certificate of Commendation on Jan. 23, 2019 at the New Glasgow Legion for outstanding deeds in saving a dog that had fallen through the ice in March 2018. Provided/Canadian Armed Forces

Three young men with the Canadian Armed Forces’ cadet program have been honoured for their quick-thinking and bravery in saving a woman and her dog who fell through ice last spring.

And the cadets are hoping to find that woman, to get an update on her and her dog.

Cadet Master Cpl. Jonathan Scott Pyrovolos, 14, Cadet Master Warrant Officer Caleb James Wilson, 17, and Cadet Chief Warrant Officer Aaron Day, 18, were at an orienteering exercise at a Trenton, N.S., park on March 24, 2018.

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The three members of 219 New Glasgow Legion Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps were surveying the area that day to prepare for the exercises when they noticed a dog that had gone through the ice in a pond.

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“We just looked over and happen to see a dog walking on the pond and go through the ice,” Day said.

“We saw the owner start going down the hill so we realized we should probably do something. The dog isn’t supposed to be there.”

As the teens made their way toward the pond in the snow, the situation became more pressing.

“The lady jumped onto the ice to grab the dog but then she got stuck,” Day said.

“We grabbed her feet and made sure she had the dog and once she did, we pulled them both out on the solid land.”

Day says the dog, which he believes was a retriever or lab, and the woman were uninjured, but wet and cold.

He says the woman and her friend thanked the boys, who walked them back to their car.

Thinking back on the event, Day says adrenaline took over and the teens knew they had to act quickly.

“We thought if we hadn’t done anything, the dog might not have made it through. She went on the ice, so she was breaking through the ice,” he said.

“We didn’t know what would have happened but we’re just glad we didn’t find out.”

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The teens told their officers what happened, but didn’t think much more of it.

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That is, until Wednesday night, when they were surprised with a Cadet Certificate of Commendation from the National Cadet and Junior Canadian Ranger Support Group Commander. The commendation is awarded to cadets for outstanding deeds in attempting to save the life or property of another person.

“The Cadet Program is all about empowering youth to be leaders in their communities. When these cadets saw the dog and its owner in distress, they stepped up and took the initiative to offer assistance,” said Cmdr. Lawrence Trim, the commanding officer for the Regional Cadet Support Unit (Atlantic) in a statement.

“Their Army Cadet training helped to build up their self-confidence, self-reliance and physical fitness. We’re very proud of these youth.”

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Day says he and his fellow cadets were surprised, but proud, to receive the commendation.

They’re also hoping to get in touch with the woman because they never got a chance to catch her name in all the commotion.

“I imagine she’s from the area,” he said. “It would be nice to check up and see how the dog is doing.”