TEMPLETON (KDKA) — A local woman crashed through the ice on a frozen pond as she tried to rescue her dog.

Mya Varner of Templeton, Armstrong County, loves her dog – a 10-year-old mix named Bart. So when he he partially fell through the ice and became trapped, she didn’t hesitate to take a risk.

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She gingerly began walking out on the ice, but at the moment she reached for Bart, the ice broke sending her and the dog into at least eight feet of freezing water.

“It plunged me into the water up to my shoulders,” said Varner. “Instant shock. It took my breath away. I was devastated. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t yell. I couldn’t swim. I couldn’t do anything.”

The dog began clawing at her back as he tried to stay afloat, Varner’s boyfriend was frantic to save her, but unsure of how to reach her.

“When she went through, I paused for a quick second, and I didn’t really know what to do,” said Brock Headland.

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He stomped his way through the ice, keeping his feet on the bottom of the pond.

“The water was probably up to my stomach, and I was just able to reach out far enough and grab her hand,” said Headland. “And I pulled her as hard as I could with everything I had.”

It worked. He pulled her to shore, and the dog followed in the path cut through the ice.

Varner is still a little shaken by what could have happened had her boyfriend not been nearby.

“I thank God every day that he was with me because it would have been not a good outcome if he hadn’t have been with me,” she said.

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David Highfield