Macy the Golden Retriever Was Trapped Beneath Frozen Ground. A Chocolate Lab and Firefighters Helped Free Her
A golden retriever who found herself trapped beneath the frozen ground has more than just firefighters to thank for her rescue. A passing Labrador retriever also played a vital role in reuniting Macy with her parents.
Macy went missing Friday morning at Marilla Park in Streator, Ill. As Streator Fire Department Capt. Fred McClellan—one of Macy's eventual rescuers—understands, she seemingly disappeared when her human turned away from her. The ground had collapsed beneath her, and unbeknownst searchers, including a drone, couldn't find her.
Before 7 a.m. the next day, Wrigley the chocolate Lab and his human were walking in the park when Wrigley ventured into the area where Macy was and stayed there, McClellan tells Daily Paws. He whined and barked, letting his owner know he found Macy, one of his park playmates.
Soon the Fire Department arrived for what would be a tricky rescue. Macy was only 4 or 5 feet beneath the ground, but she was bogged down in 4–5 inches of mud, McClellan says. The frozen ground was acting as a nearly unsupported roof to the hole. At first the rescuers put a ladder down toward Macy to hopefully coax her up, but that didn't work for the older dog with leg and hip issues.
As you can see below, McClellan had descended into the hole to secure Macy to a leash, so when the ladder didn't work, they opted to lift her out using the leash. The attempt seemed to work initially, but the ground gave way under McClellan, who was standing right outside the opening as he tried to lift Macy out.
"There were a lot of things going on real quick," he says.
McClellan fell, but he was able to transfer full control of the leash to his engineer, Tim Redd, while he was semi-suspended over the opening. Redd and Wrigley's owner were then able to pull Macy out as McClellan rolled away from the opening.
Macy, who's about 11, seemed justifiably pleased to exit her cold, muddy prison after nearly 24 hours. She quickly greeted a woman who we're guessing is her owner. She was very calm and helpful down in the hole, offering McClellan a paw when he was down there to affix her to the leash.
"She was doing really, really good," he says.
A check from the veterinarian revealed Macy was unhurt—no doubt thanks to Wrigley, McClellan, and everyone else who helped out.