BRAINERD (AP) — The Mississippi River almost ruined Christmas for Steve and Kathy Olsen in rural Brainerd.

Their two dogs ran off about a week and a half ago and the Olsens searched the nearby woods with neighbor John Carlson.

About an hour later, the yellow Lab returned wet. About three hours later Carlson spotted the 8-year-old cinnamon Lab named Walker in the frigid river, with only his eyes and nose sticking out of the water.

Kathy Olsen says their neighbor fashioned a bridge with some dead wood and the exhausted dog was able to return to shore.

The dog was treated for hypothermia at a local animal hospital.

She says he wouldn't have survived without Carlson's help. She described it as a "Christmas miracle."