Ryan Rames took his beloved dog Sammie for a walk as he normally would on a Saturday morning in his neighborhood in Minooka, southwest of Joliet.
The year-old Yorkie-Shih Tzu mix weighed only 8 pounds, and his 11-year-old master made sure she got her exercise no matter how bad the weather. When Ryan didn’t return after 45 minutes, his family set out to find him, then called authorities.
Searchers quickly spotted footprints and pawprints through the snow-covered ground leading to a large, L-shaped retention area down the street from the family’s house on the 1400 block of Hauby Court. By 1:45 p.m. or so, divers had pulled out the bodies of both Ryan and the dog.
The boy’s mother, Danielle Vieshov, said she thinks the dog went onto the retention pond and Ryan went after her.
"He took her out no matter what. He loved that dog. He went after instead of just letting her go in," she said Saturday evening between tears.
Grundy County Coroner John W. Callahan said it appeared the ice gave way as the boy and his dog neared the center of the pond.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, and with Ryan’s friends and schoolmates.
His mother offers the following advice:
"Just treat every day like it’s your last. Always tell your kids you love them when they go out the door because you never know if they’re going to come back," she said.