Firefighters rescue dog from silo
By Scott Bellile
Sometimes hunting dogs encounter tough situations when they follow their noses.
That was evident a couple weekends ago when the New London Fire Department rescued Dixie, a runaway redbone coonhound, from a farm silo north of town.
Then shortly after Dixie was freed, she bolted off again.
NLFD was dispatched to a farm on Prahl Road in the town of Mukwa at 12:20 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26.
New London Fire Lt. Ted Coppersmith said a resident there had heard a dog barking for a couple of days. At the beginning, the individual assumed the racket was coming from the woods and thought little of it. But when the resident heard the barking echoing, it became clear there was a problem.
The homeowner declined an interview request and asked not to be named to protect his privacy.
Thirteen members of NLFD turned out for the call. They saw that the dog had fallen about 10 feet into an underground portion of the silo accessible through the barn.
Chief Mark Wilfuer, engineer Eric Sager and firefighters Aaron Ott and Jason Flease worked together to descend a ladder and grab Dixie. They wrapped a blanket around her like a pouch and carried her up.
“It wasn’t injured,” Flease said. “It was a very nice dog. Took a little bit of coaxing.”
“Thank God it was not a mean dog,” Coppersmith said. “I think it was pretty happy to get out of the silo.”
For whatever reason, Dixie did not want water despite being trapped inside the silo for at least days, Coppersmith said. But she was hungry. She indulged in dog treats and dog food provided by Fire Capt. Don Conat and the homeowners.
“It was real skinny,” Coppersmith said of the dog. “You could see the ribs sticking through. It was real, real skinny.”
A person at the scene brought Dixie to Wolf River Veterinary Clinic in New London. Meanwhile, Flease said he posted a photo of Dixie on Facebook in hopes of finding her owner. By the time he returned the fire station, a friend had messaged him saying she knew the owner.
“And then it was all happy,” Coppersmith said. “And then it ran away again.”
After Dixie was taken to the vet, she got loose once more.
The dog owner did not respond to a request for comment before press time Tuesday, Sept. 5, so the Press Star was not able to determine whether Dixie has been relocated.
The owner stated on Flease’s Facebook page the day after rescue, Aug. 27, Dixie had been lost for a month prior to her short sighting and she is “missed dearly.”