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Harrowing ordeal as man plunges into icy water to save dog

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A life and death struggle took place in Montrose Harbor, Ill., on Tuesday night after a man made a desperate attempt to save his dog from drowning in Lake Michigan, reported Wednesday's NBC Chicago News.

The man, whose name has not been released, had broken through the layer of ice on the frigid lake after his dog fell in and he tried to retrieve him.

By the time that good Samaritans were on the scene, only the man's head was above the bitterly cold water.

Help for the man came from Adam Dominik, a jogger who happened to be in the area.

Dominik stated:

His face was peering out. He was completely submerged, except for his face,

I knew I had about two or three minutes before hypothermia set in and he went under, so I had Lynn keep talking to him and keep his spirits up.

Dominik sprang into action, finding a rope and working to pull the man towards shore.

Dominik recounted the man's words during the rescue effort:

"He kept saying, 'Save the dog first,' I kept saying, 'No, we're going to save your life first and then the dog, your life is more important,' but he insisted on pulling up the dog first."

The struggling man and his dog were both plucked from the water thanks to Dominik's efforts, combined with the effort of the rescuers who responded from the Chicago Police Department's Marine Unit, and fire department.

The man was taken to an area hospital in serious condition, but he and his dog are expected to survive their harrowing ordeal.

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