We had quite the neighborhood adventure Sunday afternoon. Our lake levels have been lowered so that we can do some annual maintenance, and Laura had spotted a new, very elaborate beaverdam just upstream from us. I had walked down to take a couple of photos when I spotted some blonde fur in the mud in the lake at the edge of our yard. Twice in one week I was heartsick over a pet. I knew it was Rose, our next-door neighbor’s old yellow lab.
I got down to the lake shore just to check to make sure it was Rose, and she raised her head. I was amazed she was still alive. However, she was stuck very firmly in the mud and couldn’t get free.
I called Laura to bring my hip waders and go find some help. Our neighbors Kathleen and Herrick, and their son Brad were soon on the scene. I waded on out and promptly sank into mud up to my thighs as I stood next to Rose.
I had some rope webbing that I was able to run underneath her so I could pull her out. Her hind legs were stuck firmly, and I wasn’t sure I could get her out by myself, but eventually she came free. Rose was so exhausted from struggling that she couldn’t stand at all. Her back legs wouldn’t support her. Laura found a piece of plywood and Brad, Herrick, and I were able to get her up onto it.
Next it was my turn. I was stuck just about as firmly as Rose had been. Laura found a piece of my climbing rope, and Herrick and Brad looped it over a tree limb while I tied a bowline around myself. They belayed while I worked my legs free and pulled myself out.
Laura, Kathleen, Herrick, and Bradly carried Rose up the hill on the board. We got towels and some warm water and started to sponge her off and get her warm. She was totally coated in mud, and still couldn’t stand.
Eventually we were able to move her into our basement laundry room where we continued to dry her and let her get warm. We knew we were making progress when Rose finally stood up and was able to eat some doggy snacks that we keep on hand for her.
Rose’s owner, John, had been in Columbia, and came right on over to check on her as soon as he got back. She gobbled the food he brought over and drank a good bit of water, but she was still very cold and weak.
We decided that it would be best for her to stay put overnight so she could rest and get warm. This morning she was ready to head home. She was still weak and unsteady on her feet, but Rose was able to walk with John through the snow to her own home.
It was quite the pet rescue, and required the help of several neighbors. I’m just glad this one turned out to have a happy ending. My thanks to Laura, Herrick, Kathleen, and Bradly for helping get Rose out, and to Kathleen for documenting the adventure with her photos.