A Nova Scotia man and two boys are lucky the family dog was around when the snow fort they were building collapsed on top of them.
Steve Bayers, his 13-year-old son, and his son’s friend were building a snow fort last Saturday, after the Eastern Shore region received a metre-and-a-half of snow.
“We were planning to build the king of the snow forts,” Bayers told CBC’s Maritime Noon, but just as he and the two boys were putting the finishing touches on the fort, it collapsed on top of them.
“I was shaving it off the ceiling, kind of laughing and carrying on. The next thing I know the lights went out,” he said.
Although the boys were only a few feet away from him, he told reporters that they might as well have been a mile away. His leg was twisted up behind him, and he was trapped so tightly that he couldn’t even move his fingertips.
Without much of a plan, he told the two young boys not to panic. Bayers isn’t sure how long they were trapped underneath the snow before he heard a bark and felt a tugging on his jacket.
After a little pulling from his five-year-old golden retriever Zoose, Bayer managed to free himself and began calling for help. One of his neighbours and a few others passing by heard his cries and quickly ran over to help dig the boys out.
“[The boys] were screaming that they couldn’t breathe, but I knew if they were screaming, they were breathing,” Bayers told CTV News.
After about 10 minutes of digging they finally reached the boys. Bayers told reporters that “words don’t describe” the level of elation he felt when he realized they were okay. After that, he says, things got pretty emotional for everyone.
“There were a lot of hugs, a lot of thankfulness,” he said.
Bayers was left with a broken fibula and twisted knee, and his son suffered from a minor concussion, but he’s acutely aware of how much worse things could have been, especially if it weren’t for Zoose.
“What if the dog was [in the house]? There’s a million what-ifs and fortunately, it wasn’t our time.”