Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Bob Zellar/AP Amanda Bjelland's early morning stroll turned scary on Feb. 25.
The Montana resident usually starts each day with a walk to the mailbox at the end of her property accompanied by her two best friends: Chloe, 6, a female pug, and Willow, 1, an indoor Siamese mix cat.
"We do this around 6 am while it is still dark outside," Bjelland, a receptionist in the radiation dept. of a Billings health care facility, tells PEOPLEPets.com. But something was off that day when came back inside the house, "Chloe walked to the back door and started crying," she recalls.
Bjelland quickly opened the door so Chloe could run outside. Soon the pug started barking and circling around in a banner of excitement -- a sign that something was definitely wrong.
Bjelland, whose husband Ron, was just waking up, noticed that Willow was not in the house and ran down the steps behind the house to find Chloe circling around their koi pond, which is 12 by 22-ft. The 3-ft. deep pond normally attracts birds, rabbits, raccoon and deer.
"I was horrified to see that Willow had fallen through the ice and was struggling to get out," Bjelland tells PEOPLEPets.com. "Chloe was telling us that her sister was stuck on ice chunks."
Instantly, Bjelland, crying and frightened, grabbed little Willow, who is declawed on the front paws, and pulled her out of the pond that had partially thawed from a couple of unusual 40 degree days.
Warming her little kitten in towels, Bjelland held Willow in her arms, but the cat was not interested in cuddling. She was freezing cold.
On most winter mornings, Willow could walk on the ice covering the pond because it was frozen solid. So when she chased a rabbit after their mailbox walk, she immediately fell through the melted ice.
"Finally, Willow shook her paws to get rid of the excess water and I could tell she was feeling better," says Bjelland. "For the next two days she was lethargic, but by the third day she was feeling fine."
Chloe was elated that her sister was alive and well. She ran around excited and barking in a happy frenzy.
"Chloe was as happy as we were that everything turned out alright," Bjelland says. "She is a good dog. And she loves to sleep with Willow each night. They absolutely adore each other."