PORTLAND, Ore. — Firefighters rescued a 14-year-old dog that fell down a manhole in Southeast Portland's Sellwood neighborhood Friday morning.
Portland Fire & Rescue said the Labrador retriever, named Tess, fell about 23 feet down the hole near the intersection of Southeast 9th Avenue and Lambert Street, just afer 10 a.m. The manhole cover was off because city workers were inspecting it, according to Linda and Larry Beutler, Tess' owners.
Larry Beutler told KGW he saw the moment Tess made the tumble down the hole.
"She just walked up expecting a treat and just went over the edge and disappeared," Larry Beutler said. "So that was quite a shock."
Linda Beutler told KGW she was about to leave for work when Larry Beutler called and told her what happened.
"It was absurd," said Linda Beutler, recalling her reaction to Tess' fall. "We went through a real life-threatening thing with her before Christmas, so it was just like, 'What else can happen?'"
A firefighter went down into the hole, put Tess in a harness and used a pulley system called an Arizona Vortex to bring her up. A group of people who gathered to watch clapped as she was raised up.
Tess was stuck underground for about an hour, but she wasn't injured. There was a pile of leaves and other debris at the bottom that helped cushion her fall.
"Oh god, they're heroes. They're amazing," Linda Beutler said about the firefighters who pulled Tess to safety.
"We just want to tell other dogs, don't be like Tess. Don't be like Tess," Linda Buetler joked. "Don't just walk up to people and expect to get treats because you might fall in a hole."
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