Golf course workers rescue dog from underground drain pipe

Ty the cocker spaniel
The Austin American-Statesman
Ty the cocker spaniel settled in for a nice long nap after spending 18 hours trapped in a golf course drainage pipe.
By John Holmes

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Friday, August 29, 2014 | 6:54 p.m.
A hole-in-one probably wasn't on Bob Williamson's mind as he walked his dog on the Falconhead Golf Course west of Austin, Texas, the other day. But when the pooch – a 7-year-old cocker spaniel named Ty – took off in hot pursuit of a raccoon, Williamson ended up with one dog in a hole.
Night was falling and the golfers were off the course as Williamson and Ty took their stroll. And when Ty took off, the raccoon hot-footed it into a 75-yard drainage pipe. The pipe was big enough for Ty to get into – but it narrowed as it went deeper into the ground, and Ty got stuck. Really stuck.
Williamson went for help, and local firefighters were able to remove a grate from the opposite side of the drain. The raccoon, of course, climbed out just fine, but the dog was trapped about four feet below the ground.
"Standing outside the drain, you could hear him barking," Williamson told The Austin American-Statesman. "The dog's nails were long and couldn't get any traction on the incline, and that's how he got stuck, I think. He was wanting to come out, but he wasn't able to."
The pup stayed stuck overnight, and the golf course maintenance crew went to work the next morning. They dug for several hours, trying to find the point in the pipe where Ty was trapped. Eventually, they unearthed the section of pipe where the dog was, then used a handsaw to cut into it.
With Ty located, the rescuers used pieces of hot dogs to encourage him to move just enough that someone was able to grab him by the collar and pull him out.
"There was a little encouragement with a hot dog involved," Falconhead General Manager Laura Gunia said. "He barely fit in , but he was hungry enough to scoot closer to reach each hot dog piece.
"We were determined," she added. "There was no way any of us were walking away regardless of how long it took, and we were always confident of a good ending."
So, 18 hours after he entered the pipe, Ty emerged – dirty but unhurt, and ready for a very long nap during which he, no doubt, dreamed of catching that raccoon before they reached the drainage pipe.