For NYE we had a group of friends over for cocktails and hor d'ourves before going out for the night. Right after dark the doorbell rang and I went to welcome in the next guest but was met with a woman that I have never seen before.
She was middle-aged and looked kinda frantic. She was so worked up that she could hardly get out the words when she said "Excuse me, I hate to interrupt your evening, but we were driving by and saw a Pug puppy fall into the water drain and we know you are dog lovers and 911 is busy....."
I met this situation as I meet all emergency situations: with complete panic and fear. I starting to yell back into the house at Brad that a puppy had fallen in the storm sewer and then began fumbling with my phone to try and call animal control. Before I knew it Brad went sprinting past me in Super Hero Mode out the front door while throwing off articles of clothing and jumped right down the man hole to look for the dog. Then everyone else ran after him, in their NYE finery, to try and save lassie from the well.
I ran out after everyone, in my heels, to let them know help is on the way and I see my husband down in the man hole with a tiny key chain flashlight and he said that he couldn't see, or hear, a dog. We assume that the dog must have run down the drain towards the opening near the creek behind our house. We all followed the man holes to see where the drain let out. It was dark and we were in dress clothes so we didn't actually see where the opening was but assumed that since the dog could walk that it would eventually make his way out. Animal Control finally showed up and said that they would take a look.
Satisfied that the dog would be OK, Brad got dressed and we went back to our NYE festivities. We had quite the NYE night complete with good food, great company and lots of white people dance moves.
The next morning, and I use the term "morning" loosely here, Brad went out to walk our dogs and went over to the drain to check on the lost pug and thought he heard the puppy barking. So he jumped back down the man hole and, again, saw no sign of a dog. I was beginning to think that the lady had maybe seen a rabbit (or smoked a joint) and that Brad was hearing a neighbors dog and that there was no pug to be found.
Over the next few hours Brad and several neighbors had heard the dog barking and realized that the poor puppy was stuck. We called animal control again and starting trying to figure out where the tunnel emptied. After discovering that the exit was covered by rocks and dirt, Brad and another neighbor took to digging it out. After hours of digging the hole was finally uncovered so the puppy legitimately had a way to get out. Then we stationed 3 different people in the 3 manholes to try and coax/scare the puppy to the exit. We tried everything to get this dog out. We heated up food, yelled, called, whistled, begged and pleaded to get it to go out and we had no luck.
Finally after hours and hours we decided to go back inside. The tunnel had an exit, the dog was walking and we put food right outside the opening and had done all we could do. We went home and I sat on our back deck that was overlooking the creek to try and see if the puppy would crawl out. Sure enough, after about 20 minutes the puppy walked out. So I hollered at Brad we went chasing after it. That little sucker was fast! He was also no pug. He looked like a little German Shepard pup and I named him Moby. After running all over the neighborhood we finally corralled him into a corner and Brad was able to grab him. Turns out when a puppy spends the night in a storm drain, is hollered at, scared to death, chased by humans and caught by force; he gets a little angry and the dang dog bit Brad! It was a small bite, but still punctured the skin.
We tried to get the little guy back to our house and he was growling and barking and wiggling around and ended up biting through the little makeshift leash animal control had given us and then ran under a neighbors car. Brad and I were on our hands and knees, armed with a broom and a shovel, trying to get this puppy out from under the car. Half the neighborhood came out to help/watch and it took another half an hour but we were finally able to grab him out from under the car and get him home and into a crate.
The poor thing was TERRIFIED! He was balled up all the way in the back of the crate with his little nose in the corner and just cowered. We put some food and water and a blanket in their while we settled down. Then we decided to tend to Brad who was not only bitten but also all cut up from being in the brush. We cleaned up him and called our doctor to see if Brad should get any kind of vaccine and, upon their recommendation, we went to the ER to get a rabies vaccine. Even though this little guy is only a puppy he had been in a sewer and had no tags so you never know what germs he may have gotten into. I am sure that we are the only "puppy bite" victims to ever grace the halls of Emory Adventist Emergency Room, but it was after hours and had nowhere else to go.
We went to the ER and were waiting to get a vaccine and did the only natural thing to do in this situation; googled rabies in humans. OHMYGOSH. Did you know that rabies is 100% fatal in humans? We started watching this u-tube video of people being chained down and going crazy from rabies and at this point Brad and I are freaking out and frantically trying to reassure ourselves that Brad is not going to suddenly start frothing at the mouth and try to bite me. After 2 hours of waiting we were finally told that since we have the dog in our custody that they would not have to give the vaccine just yet. We would need to give the dog to animal control for observation for 10 days and if the dog develops rabies then he would have to get the shots. Oh, and by the way, you want to do everything you can to avoid the rabies vaccine because it is a series of 8 shots in your STOMACH! So instead he was given a bunch of antibiotics to stave off infection from the bite and a tetanus shot for good measure.
We went home and a VERY nice animal control officer met us and took the puppy and said that they would do a full examination of the dog and watch him for 10 days and give us a call on if he develops signs of rabies. Case closed!
So this is how we started our 2012. Luckily we were able to save a poor, tiny, helpless puppy from certain death and had the pleasure of spending the greater part of the first day of the new year in an emergency room; but, all in all, it was a very exciting way to start the year. I hope that everyone else had a a great NYE and was able to avoid manholes and emergency rooms altogether.