Recently, in Missouri, when Gerry, a caver was on a spelunking trip, 500 feet deep inside a cave, he suddenly saw a skinny dog with matted fur who had curled up on a slab of cold rock.
Now, you can easily find frogs, fish, crabs, and other small amphibians underground, but the last thing you would expect to see is a dog. Right?
Just like you and me, Gerry was completely shocked to see the dog so deep inside a cave. He noticed that the dog was extremely weak and lethargic.
Gerry, the caver was absolutely clueless of how and how long the dog had been stuck down there. However, he knew he had to get her out quickly because she was too weak to move on her own.
Clicking a photo of the dog, Gerry headed out of the cave to get help from locals and emergency groups.
As the news of the dog spread, Rick Haley, a 66-year-old assistant fire chief and a caving enthusiast who happened to be close by, volunteered to rescue the dog.
Rick was a caver just like Gerry but with 30 years of experience, and he decided to use all his knowledge and skills to plan the rescue mission for the dog in need.
The two decided to rescue the dog by going back down 500 feet inside the cave and carrying her up. Though it was going to be a tough, vertical climb to get her out, the two men just had to do it because if they didn’t get her out, she would die in there.
Soon, Gerry and Rick chalked out a rescue plan together, and before they could go into cave, Gerry showed the photo of the dog to the locals who lived in the vicinity of the cave.
One of the residents recognized the dog. He confirmed that ‘Abby’ was his neighbour’s mixed-breed poodle who had gone missing on 9th June, almost 2 months ago. He rushed to inform Abby’s owners.
The rescuers and locals guessed that Abby might have chased an animal into the cave or maybe she was swept inside during a flash flood.
Now, after knowing that Abby had a home and family, Gerry and Rick were even more motivated now to go back in and get her.
In the cave, they walked some distance and then crawled a certain space until they finally reached Abby in 15 minutes. However, to bring her out was not going to be easy.
The two men carried Abby through low and narrow tunnels to the surface in a padded duffel bag, and she went hand over hand along the entire way.
At one point Gerry and Rick had to slither through mud in a long corkscrew tunnel but they took it slow and easy.
Abby was exhausted, but she remained calm and quiet in her bag, maybe she was aware she was being rescued.
Also, she was extremely weak due to lack of food and her claws were quite sharp and long, which indicated that she hadn’t walked in quite a while.
Eventually, after an hour the cavers brought out Abby, and at the entrance with teary eyes stood her grateful owner, Jeff Bohnert, 55.
When Gerry and Rick handed over Abby, Jeff carefully carried her in his arms and took her home.
After being alerted by his neighbours about the photo, Jeff was astonished to find out that his furry girl, Abby had been found 500 feet underground, two months after she went missing.
Searching high and low for Abby for many weeks, he had no luck finding her. He sadly lost all hope.
Jeff absolutely had no idea that Abby was still alive. But Abby was a real survivor. Her return was shocking and overwhelming for her family, including Summer, the other family dog.
Jeff recalled the day when Abby went missing. It was a normal outing one evening, when Abby and Summer were playing off the leash in the country.
Though Abby and Summer always return back together, that eve only Summer came back home. Jeff knew something was definitely wrong and he started looking for Abby without wasting a second.
For 14 years, Abby has been a part of Jeff’s family and he had got her home when she was just a little pup. When Abby went missing, the entire family was heartbroken.
Now Abby’s family seems more than happy to be reunited with her. They took her to the nearest vet clinic first for a check-up.
At home, Jeff and his wife bathed her and fed her chicken broth in small amounts since she was having food after a very long time.
It took a while for Abby’s eyesight to adjust after being in the darkness for so long. But she’s recovering well now.
Abby is back on her feet with all the love and care from her family. She is now taking short walks on a leash with her furry pals, Summer, the second dog and Fuzzy, the family cat.
Jeff and his family thanked Gerry and Rick with a gallon of ice-cream and the two cavers were happy to cool off after the rescue.
Abby is truly one lucky dog because if it weren’t for the cave projects that weekend, they would have never found her in there.
Get well soon, Abby! You are really one tough pooch.