DOGGED determination led to a successful canine cave rescue in Brownshill.
Patterdale Terrier Millie was rescued from an old mining cave near the grounds of the monastery of Our Lady and St Bernard in Brownshill after being trapped underground for six days.
Owner Liza Bewick, who lives in St Mary’s Way, Brownshill, was alerted to Millie’s location by her other Patterdale terrier, MJ, who started barking frantically during one of their daily searches of the area.
Millie, eight, went missing during a walk in the woods near the monastery on Saturday, December 14.
The two dogs had run off together during the walk but only MJ, who is also eight, returned after being called.
“We searched frantically at the time but we couldn’t see her anywhere,” said Liza.
After days of searching the woods Liza believed she would never get Millie back until she came across a very small opening to an old mining cave near the monastery.
“I went back and got MJ from the house as I knew if she was down there he would be able to tell,” said Liza.
“As soon as MJ got near the opening he ran down into the tunnel and started barking madly and that’s when I heard a very faint bark coming from underground.
A friend of Liza’s took MJ back to the house and contacted the fire brigade who upon arrival called in the Gloucestershire Cave Rescue Group.
The group’s chairman Paul Taylor and a team of six cavers used an electric chisel to break up the rocks to create a 20 metre long tunnel that would allow them to reach Millie.
“It was a very delicate operation and we had to be extremely careful moving the rocks to prevent the tunnel from collapse around us and onto the dog,” said Mr Taylor.
After eight hours of digging the team were finally able to see Millie, who after being trapped for six days was running around and trying to jump up to the rescue team.
“Unfortunately she was too far away for me to reach her and the hole was too small for me to get through,” said Mr Taylor.
The rescue team took one of the drainage rods from the fire engine and attached it to a wall tie which they used to hook around Millie’s harness and pull her out from the hole.
Millie was rushed to the vets, who said she was completely healthy and wasn’t even that dehydrated.
“There was one point when I wasn’t sure if we would ever get her back and to have her sitting in front of the fire again is just such a relief,” said Liza.
Although Millie has come away from the ordeal unscathed, MJ unfortunately had to be taken to the vets with pancreatitis which is believed to have been bought on by the stress of the whole situation.