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Mary Ellen and Miss Wings
Mary Ellen
Tips 'n' Tales Newspaper Columnist with Miss Wings

Two Dogs With 9-Lives...well, well, well!

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Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Fire Fighter Ariel Schesser, Fire Fighter Thomas Eckstine, and 9-year-old Isaac holding two dogs with 9-lives!  Isaac's dog Clair, a 5-year-old, 25 pound, Heinz-57 mix, and Clair's inseparable friend, Beau, a 4-year-old, 100-pound Golden Labrador.  The dog's game of 'chase the ball' with Isaac, created a wild adventure for everyone, and a rescue with an unusual twist that the first responders did not expect!

It is rare to feature any pet twice in a year, but sometimes a story just has to be told, and Beau's is one of them!

Joy and Cart were home when their friend, Marci, rushed through their front door with an unmistakable look of horror on her face.  Gasping, out of breath, Joy heard Marci yell, "He has fallen into the well!"

Stunned, shaken to her core, Joy thinking the worst thought that Marci's young son, Isaac, was lying at the bottom of their old abandoned well!  Joy reached for the phone and dialed 911, "An eight year old boy fell into the old well on our property."

We live in a small town, and 90% of our first responders have children.  A child in danger brings out a skin-tingling fear, in everyone, and the strongest desire to help.  Within moments Joy and Cart's driveway was filled, end to end; every available police car, fire engine, ambulance etc. with their flashing red and blue lights reflecting off the surrounding tall Douglas Fir trees.  "They must have sent everyone but the county cook!" remembers Joy.

What a relief, Isaac was safe!  Joy had misunderstood when she heard Marci yell,  "The dogs are in the well."
As everyone stood looking  22 feet down into the pitch black well, Joy and Cart saw a sight they will never forget. 

The old well, long since boarded up and over grown with blackberry bushes was surprisingly once again open to daylight.

There at the bottom, in two feet of murky water, was their infamous dog, Beau, and his inseparable dog-pal, Isaac's blue and brown eyed dog Clair, insistently whining, demanding to be rescued!

Apparently, while Beau and Clair were playing 'chase the ball' with Isaac...Beau, in his enthusiasm to be first to get the ball, took a short cut through the bushes and over the rain soaked-rotting timbers.  His 100 pounds shattered the well cover, and he plunged to the bottom.

"Beau just disappeared from sight! In view one minute, gone the next." reflects Marci, who was gardening close by.  "It was totally dark in the well, I could not see the bottom, and I could not see Beau. 
I called him.  There was no response.  Only deafening silence; no water splashing, no barking. I thought the worse, and turned to run for help. What happened next was unbelievable.  I heard a second loud splash! Unseen, Clair flew passed me, and into the well, after her Beau!

I called down to the dogs. Neither responded. I thought, 'Will this nightmare ever end?  And as I was running for help, realized that the situation was getting worse by the minute! In all the confusion, Joy thought I meant my son was in the well, but it was the dogs.

Cart brought a flash light and we saw the reflection of Beau's eyes, and short legged Clair holding her muzzle up to keep from drowning."

"It is a good thing that fire fighters come in all shapes and sizes," recalls Joy. "The well is only 3 feet by 4 feet wide. The firefighters placed a long fire-ladder into the well, and Captain Paul Eckstine climbed down and immediately carried up Clair.
Then he descended a second time, carrying ropes to create a harness for Beau. 
Captain Eckstine soon emerged, easily carrying our 100 pound dog under one of his arms!  Beau was so exited to see all the people. He acknowledged everyone, running around in circles, wagging his wet tail enthusiastically splashing us! My he was glad to be out of the well!"

Marci comments on the condition of the dogs, "Miraculously, neither dog was hurt! And boy, were they yucky from the old stagnant well-water!  We opened up the swimming pool, the dogs immediately jumped in, and swam themselves clean."

"What an experience for us all! Thank goodness we were home when the dogs took a nose dive into the well!" exclaims Joy, "It is a blessing the dogs exposed the danger, and not Isaac. We ended up with a lot of unexpected company; all the first responders plus our neighbors who came over, concerned that we were in trouble.

The air turned jovial as everyone breathed a sigh of relief.  Cart and I decided a celebration was in order and are throwing Beau a summer party by 'his' swimming pool with our caring neighbors."
Joy pauses and reflects on the events of the rescue, "It certainly was a very hairy day!"

Months later, while walking laps around their home, Cart slipped on the early morning wet grass.  He broke his hip, ensuing another 911 call by Joy.

Now, one might think with all the busy activity involved in rescuing Beau and Clair, and the huge response their rescue brought, that Cart deserves the same treatment as his dog!

Not so! Only one ambulance arrived to help Cart!  Yes, is a dog's life!

Beau's Archived 2008 story, "Obviously, The Most Spoiled Dog in Town"


The realization that it could have been a child down their well still haunts Joy. Joy and Cart suggest, "Everyone with a well on their property, who thinks that it is safely sealed should recheck the covering.  With the rain in our area, wood covers naturally rot. It would be wise to fill old wells in with earth, as we now have, to keep all pets and people safe."

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