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The Allers didn’t know Gunner was missing until they saw the video.

By Austin Cannon
December 29, 2020
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It’s one thing to learn that your missing dog has been (thankfully) returned, but it must be especially weird to find out that your dog is missing via a Facebook post that also shows the daring, icy rescue. 

That’s what happened to the Aller family in Celina, Ohio, over the weekend. Parents Jeremy and Lisa Aller were out of town, so family members were checking in on 1-year-old Labrador retriever Gunner, WDTN reports. At some point Saturday, the young dog slipped out through an open door, an escape unknown to his caretakers. 

Then the Allers saw the video on Facebook. 

“We were like, ‘Oh that’s Gunner,’” Lisa Aller told the news station. “I was nervous for the guy, too, walking on the ice. And I just was embarrassed, I was shocked. I was scared. It was terrible.”

A man named Kevin Klosterman was Gunner’s savior. The dog had broken through the ice of Grand Lake and couldn’t get out. Klosterman, who had been taking photos nearby, arrived after his brother called him, WDTN writes. He knew he only had a matter of minutes before the cold water would really become dangerous for the dog. 

So he threw on a life jacket and walked onto the ice, dragging a canoe with him. He got into the canoe when he got to Gunner and hoisted the dog out of the water before coaxing him into the small watercraft. As Klosterman dragged the canoe back, Gunner hopped back out onto the ice for a few seconds before his pal Kevin got him back into the canoe. (Learn your lesson, my guy!)

Klosterman used one hand to keep Gunner in the boat as they arrived back at shore, just as an ambulance arrived. 

Not only a family companion, Gunner is also the therapy dog of Lisa Aller's son, making an already-special rescue even more meaningful. 

“He didn’t just save the dog, he saved my son also,” Lisa said. 

“If he’s listening, I just want to say thank you very much and I say that from the bottom of my heart,” Ayden Aller said in a message to Klosterman. “If I would’ve lost Gunner, I don’t know what I would’ve done.”