What started out like any other Saturday morning for Rachael Lucas, 34, quickly descended into one of panic when she noticed Roxy missing from the bottom of a friend’s garden at Sycamore Ave in Euxton.
“At around 10am on Saturday morning she was literally wandering around my friend’s garden and two seconds later I turned around and she was gone.
With friends and neighbours joining in the frantic search for over an hour, the decision was then made to call the fire service.
Rachael, who also has an 11-year-old Samoyed dog named Sasci and works at boarding kennels in Clayton-le-Woods, added: “The fire service arrived within five to 10 minutes.
“She was missing for three hours. She had trotted down the garden and found a tiny hole in the hedge, ran off into a culvert and out of sight. We all assumed.
“She went into any of the adjoining gardens that also have this culvert running along the bottom of their gardens…the culvert has a stream with nasty silt and was known to have rats.
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“It ends eventually to a drain hole which has worse conditions that would be fatal.”
The fire brigade used a heat camera to pick up body heat of the dog in a very dark and nasty drain, but there was still no trace.
They went to the other end of the drain, which went under an embankment railway line and out the other side, but no paw marks there either. From this, it was then assumed poor Roxy was in the middle.
However, one eagle-eyed neighbour noticed scratch marks up a slope from the culvert so the firemen fought their way through thick forage to find the pooch found safe and well, albeit a little tired and wet, and wrapped her in a coat to keep her warm.
Rachael who describes Roxy as shy but cheeky and very loving, continued: “This has never happened before and hopefully will never happen again. She was given lots of treats upon her return.”
The fire men were also treated to a brew and biscuits for all their hard work.