The family believes that Calvin, the golden retriever, was chasing around squirrels before falling into the well.
For hours, a 12-year-old golden retriever was stuck at the bottom of a well that was 30 feet deep before finally being brought to safety. The pooch named Calvin belongs to Dickson Patton, who first noticed that the dog was missing while he was mowing his lawn on Monday, August 23, in Aloha, Oregon.
As he recalled the moments leading up to his dog going missing, Dickson revealed that Calvin was playing out in the backyard with his other dog, Fergus. Both the golden retrievers were running behind squirrels and Dickson just "left them to it." It was about an hour later when Dickson noticed that Fergus was acting strangely. "The pup was running around very distraught, and we couldn't find Calvin," Dickson told Pamplin Media Group.
Dickson and his wife, Sheryl, began searching for Calvin and nearly gave up until Fergus and their German shepherd, Margaret, led them to an old pump house. When Dickson looked inside the cistern well that was inside the pump house, he saw the heart-stopping sight of Calvin, staring back at him and treading the waters.
"When he heard them, he started barking from the well, and as soon as I heard that I knew what had happened. I started ripping up the rotted plywood and called the fire department," Dickson told FOX 12.
Soon, the Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVF&R) firefighters from Station 62 and Station 51 arrived and began cooking up a rescue plan to get the distressed dog out. Using a tripod and rope system, the rescue team lowered one person to the bottom of the well and lifted Calvin out.
"He was pretty conscious, and he was howling and carrying on for at least two hours," said Dickson, recalling the agony of watching his dog being rescued while speaking to Pamplin Media Group. "...Seeing him down there, that was pretty bad too."
Calvin stayed in the well for about four hours before finally being brought to dry land. "Incidents like this don't happen very often, so it was a good training opportunity for our technical rescue team," said TVF&R spokesperson, Tim Nokes. "We can simulate technical rescues similar to that, but it's not very often where we actually have a 30-foot-deep well we get to send someone down inside."
After Calvin was brought out, he was rushed to the vet and treated for hypothermia. "Lisa McGarvey, his vet, couldn't have been better," Sheryl said. She and her husband will always remember the TVF&R for dedicatedly working at their job and safely rescuing their beloved dog.
"I can't say enough good things about the TV Fire & Rescue," Sheryl said. "I mean, they're really efficient." In a statement on Twitter, TVF&R wrote: "Firefighters from our technical rescue team receive specialized training in multiple disciplines, including confined space rescue. Animal rescues are carefully evaluated and often used as an opportunity for firefighters to hone their skills for this highly technical task."
Firefighters from station 62 in Aloha paired up with firefighters from our technical rescue team from station 51 in Tigard to rescue a 12 yo Golden Retriever that had fallen into an abounded well in Aloha this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/OjvQJx2XbA— TVF&R (@TVFR) August 24, 2021
Calvin has completely recovered from the incident, and the family believes that it won't be long before he and Fergus will be running around their backyard again.
Cover image source: Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue/Twitter