Everyone got back to shore soggy but safe.
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dramatic Lake Michigan rescue of a black dog
Credit: Fern Hughes / Shutterstock

When Annie Ryzak went out boating on Lake Michigan this Memorial Day weekend, she expected a relaxing holiday with some friends. What she wound up getting was footage of a dramatic rescue of a struggling doggo.

"I wouldn't wish that on any dog owner," Ryzak said in an interview with CBS Chicago.

Ryzak was boating on Sunday, May 29, near Ohio Street beach in Chicago when she saw the small, dark shape bobbing in the choppy Lake Michigan waters.

"It was, in fact, a dog," Ryzak told the news station. "And people were starting to notice the situation on land."

Filming from her boat, Ryzak managed to capture the events as they unfolded.

Ryzak said that the dog first began swimming further out away from shore. It was a potentially dangerous situation, not only because of the wind and choppy wave conditions, but because of the large number of boats nearby for the sunny holiday weekend.

But that was when some good Samaritans on shore decided to take action. One man jumped into the lake from the rocky embankment and swam out to the paddling doggo, turning the pooch around and directing it back towards land. Once the four-legged swimmer got closer, the man's friends still on shore managed to grab the pup and haul it onto terra firma, where pup and owners were happily reunited.

Dogs are allowed to swim in designated areas of Lake Michigan, but no matter where you go it's always recommended to follow basic beach safety tips when taking your pup in or around water. Making sure they know how to swim—and have a good-fitting life jacket to keep them buoyant—can go a long way to making sure your doggo has the safest time possible 

"Just know your dog," Ryzak said. "What your dog is capable of doing. And be responsible."