How this little German Shepherd mix got stuck on an ice floe adrift on the Baltic sea is not known.  But what we do know is that the crew of the Sea Fisheries Institute in Poland quickly snatched this boy from what could have been a lonely, freezing, and horrible death.  Just this past Monday, the crew of Poland’s “Baltica” spotted an object on an ice floe.  Initially they thought it was a seal, but as the ship got closer, the seal turned out to be a dog.

The dog’s frozen journey occurred during a very cold winter with temperatures dipping to minus 4 degrees.  This little dog was found adrift 15 miles out in the Baltic Sea – frightened, shivering, with “fear in his eyes”.

The rescue was very difficult because the dog kept falling into the water.  He kept slipping into the water and crawling back on top of the ice. At one point he vanished underwater, under the ship, and the crew feared he was gone.  But the tough little dog emerged again and crawled on an ice sheet.  Fearing he was about to drown, the crew lowered a pontoon boat into the water.  The ship’s mechanic, Adam Buczynski, managed to grab the dog by the scruff of the neck and pull him to safety.

They wrapped him in blankets and massaged him to get him warm.   The dog slept on a blanket in the ship’s laboratory, then shared a sausage breakfast with the crew. The crew christened him “Baltic”.  Baltic sticks close to the mechanic who saved him but also has started moving around enjoying the company of other people.

Four people called in and claimed Baltic was theirs.  When the ship docked, two of them showed up but Baltic didn’t recognize or approach them.  The other two never showed up.

That wasn’t the first attempt at saving this dog.  Earlier, a firefighter in Grudziadz, on the Vistula river 60 miles inland from the Bay of Gdansk, said the dog was spotted Saturday. Firefighters tried to save him, but could not because the ice sheets kept shifting.  When he wasn’t seen the next day, firefighters felt he had perished.  So, in total, the distance Baltic traveled on the ice floe was 75 miles.

The crew was not too disappointed that an owner never came forward.  They have adopted Baltic as their mascot.   Baltic now has a home with an entire ships crew.  He will never lack for company, love, and lipsmacking good treats.  The firm that owns the ship has endorsed the adoption with his own food dishes and squeaky toys.

Just like the firefighters, soldiers, the police, and your everyday Joe who goes out of their way to help a distressed animal, the crew of Poland’s Baltica could not stand by and watch a life extinguish.

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