Jerry Romine of West Des Moines was walking his own dog Lucy when he heard a 13-year-old Labradoodle named Sam barking and whimpering for help from the icy, half-frozen river.
'The worst noise you could hear from an animal,' Romine told the Des Moines Register, adding that the wails 'made my blood curdle'.
As Sam struggled to keep his head above the swift-flowing waters of Middle River, gripping the surface ice with his front paws, Romine tried in vain to help the dog by tossing out a 50-foot tow rope, which was too short.
After driving door-to-door in the area seeking help, Romine called in rescuers from the Winterset, Iowa fire department, and can be heard calling out to Sam to hang on in video he took of the harrowing incident.
'I'm trying to get to you buddy, I'm sorry,' Romine called out to the forlorn dog. 'I've got help coming, hopefully.'
An animal carcass appeared to be sitting on the frozen waterway in the video, which may have tempted Sam onto the treacherously thin ice.
Arriving on the scene, two rescuers from the Winterset Fire Department ventured out onto the frozen river in a rowboat.
Stepping halfway out of the boat, one was able to pull Sam from the water and into the rescue boat at about 10.30am on Monday.
Sam was taken to a local veterinarian, who said the dog was so cold he 'wasn't even able to shiver'.
The quick-thinking vet used heating pads and blow-driers to warm up the frosty pooch, also administering a steroid.
Sam was up and walking by that afternoon, Russell said, and was quickly on the way to full recovery. The dog had been staying at the nearby farm of her parents, she said.
Romine said he was simply happy to help.
'Makes me feel blessed that I could do something,' he said.
(Daily Mail UK- Jan 9, 2017)