This is one of those moments I’m glad I wasn’t there to witness. It all happened in flash and, since I was out of town when it went happened, didn’t even learn about it until I came back. The story is short but heart-pounding.
Pia took Lucy and Bella out to the dog park, something they enjoy almost every day. The park is long and wide and if you didn’t know better, you might think it wasn’t enclosed at all (but it is). There are several small bodies of water, woods, trees, fields, plains, paths, hills and if it is Lucy’s lucky day, a few squirrels as well.
Except on this day, Lucy wasn’t so lucky. She ran with Bella down into a ravine and discovered a shallow storm drain pipe. In all my hundreds of visits to this park I’d never noticed the thing before. In fact, it’s so well camouflaged that I’m not even sure it functions as a drain anymore. Half the large pipe is now filled with earth. And therein lies the problem.
What possessed Lucy to push herself into this tunnel is beyond me, but push in she did. No one but Bella watched her do it so we’re not sure how Lucy made her grand entrance, but by the time Pia found her Lucy was backed all the way into it, facing out. Flattened like a sandwich, paws next to her head on either side. Big brown eyes looking worried.
Bella stood there pointing at the helpless Lucinda.
Pia had spotted Bella then ran over and discovered the scene. “Lucy, how in the world did you get in there???” Pia asked.
Lucy offered no response but stared back at Pia with a frightened look on her face. The girl was really stuck. Pia pushed aside some tumbleweeds and got down on her hands and knees to see how badly wedged in Lucy was. It was quite tight.
She contemplated calling the fire department, but thought she’d make an attempt on her own first. She placed a hand on the back of Lucy’s neck to see if she could be led out, but Lucy was having none of that. In fact, she reacted by scooting back even deeper into the pipe.
Pia felt there was enough space for Lucy to get free, versus being hopelessly stuck (in which case the rescuers would indeed need to be called in). So she began tugging both paws gently to pull her out. Lucy didn’t like this and cried a little, but Pia only needed to get those paws extended just a few more inches so she could get a better hold on the elbows.
The paws were moving just fine. Pia crouched down even lower, feeling the tumbleweeds scratch and crumble around her. Pieces went down her back and into her hair. Lucy, she now noticed, was all covered with pieces of tumbleweed as well.
It finally worked. Lucy came sliding out, sulked for a few moments, then forgot about it and ran off with Bella to chase squirrels again. And for the rest of the day and well into the evening, Pia was picking sharp tumbleweed pieces out of her clothing and feeling one pinch after another.
Poor girl said they even made their way into her underwear (ouch!).
We came back the next day and I’m happy to say, the intelligent Lucinda had apparently learned her lesson. We walked with her to the same storm drain and she looked at it and didn’t even think about trying to enter.
Now this marks only the SECOND time Pia has rescued Lucy in the park. No wonder their bond has become so close…
Here are a couple of photos of Lucy and the storm drain (taken the day after her incident). I really am glad I missed this adventure: