Just over an hour before the countdown began, turning 2016 into 2017, a man named Bob left his home in his pajamas and slippers to get more wood for his fireplace. This action ended in a harrowing 20 hour wait in the ice and snow, as he slipped, falling on the ice and breaking his neck. It was his Golden Retriever dog who saved him.

According to a report by CBS, while Bob lay yelling for help at 10:30 p.m. that night, the only one to hear him was his trusty Golden Retriever, Kelsey, who immediately ran to his aid. The grateful dog owner told CBS from his hospital bed in McLaren, Northern Michigan that his nearest neighbor is around a quarter mile away from his home and no one could hear him.

He said he yelled all night, but by the morning, he had lost his voice, but Kelsey kept on barking.

Golden Retriever to the rescue

While Bob was lying paralyzed in the snow, the temperature dropped to 24 degrees, but Kelsey saved Bob by lying on top of him, licking his hands and face to keep him awake. According to Bob, while Kelsey continued to bark for help, never leaving his side, she also kept him warm and alert. He said he knew he had to persevere to get through the harrowing experience and that it was his choice to stay alive.

Bob did, eventually, lose consciousness, but the Golden Retriever kept right on barking and eventually someone hear her and her efforts paid off. As reported by Buzzfeed, a “screeching howl” from Kelsey finally alerted his neighbor, who found him at 6:30 p.m.

on January 1 and immediately dialed 911. Bob was taken to the McLaren Northern Michigan Emergency Department in Petoskey, Michigan. According to hospital staff, he was found to be hypothermic and his core body temperature was less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to Bob, he was surprised to discover he wasn’t suffering from frostbite and he said he was sure this was due to Kelsey’s determination to keep him warm and alive.

Spinal decompression surgery did the trick

On arrival at the emergency room, Chaim Colen, who works as a neurosurgeon at the hospital, immediately performed a successful spinal decompression surgery on Bob. While he has a long period of recovery to face and many hours of physical therapy, he is grateful to both his loyal dog and his surgeon and says he knows he will be just fine.

Bob went on to thank both his heroes, naming Kelsey for keeping him warm and alive and never ceasing her barks for help, as well as Dr. Colen who saved both his life and his ability to move. He said they were both true heroes, for whom he will be eternally grateful.