Dog rescued from frozen Detroit River recovering slowly

Small dog survived single-digit temperatures stranded on the ice

WOODHAVEN, Mich. – A dog who had been stranded on the frozen Detroit River for four days was rescued Saturday.

A Metro Detroit veterinarian shed light Sunday on how the dog is doing and the unlikely thing that may have saved his life.

ORIGINAL STORY: Dog rescued from frozen Detroit River after being stranded for days

“He’s a miracle,” said Dr. Lucretia Greear, owner of Woodhaven Animal Hospital.

The dog’s given name -- as of Saturday -- is Alfonso or Fonzi to his friends. Fonzi was stranded for four days on ice in Detroit River until a Good Samaritan -- who wished to remain anonymous -- reached him with an airboat and brought him to shore.

Fonzi was brought to the Woodhaven Animal Hospital and was in pretty bad shape. He had blocks of ice frozen in his fur, was suffering frostbite, malnutrition and severe pancreatitis.

Greear said Fonzi is slowly recovering and the irony in his survival is that if he had been properly cared for, cleaned and groomed, he would not have survived. Greear said his thick, matted coat kept him warm enough to survive the dangerous cold temperatures and icy water.

“He’s a miracle,” Greear said. “He definitely would have died out there. That saved him -- it literally insulated him.”

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