Thirteen-year-old Jonah MacIntyre and 11-year-old Taylor Millet were shoveling driveways to earn some cash last week when they heard a cry for help.

The boys ran down to the riverbank in their Oxford., N.S., neighbourhood and saw a distraught woman on the shore, and a dog struggling in the icy river.

The boys reached out to the dog with a shovel but it was too far. Soon, a neighbour came running with a rope. They hooked it onto the dog and pulled it out.

Susan Atkinson, the dog’s owner, says she’s thankful that the boys were there to help.

“They saved me,” she told CTV Atlantic. “I don’t know what would have happened had they not come along.”

“They were so sweet and they both stayed calm,” she added.

It turns out Atkinson had struggled for nearly 30 minutes in the chest deep water after her dog, Stormy, ran out onto thin ice.

“I got down on my hands and knees and crawled out onto the ice to try to grab her,” she explained. “When I finally got to her ... we both fell in, the ice broke and we both went under again.”

When the boys showed up, Atkinson was sitting on the bank, unable to move.

“Nothing would work,” she said. “I think I was starting with hypothermia so I started to holler ‘Help,’” she added.

Taylor’s mother, Jennifer Millett, says she couldn’t be more proud of her son and Jonah for their quick actions.

“Me being my age, I don’t think I’d be as calm as they were,” she said. “The adrenaline would rush ... and I’d probably panic.”

The boys, she said, have been humble. Atkinson has hired them to help clear her snow.