I see two sets of eyes looking at me | Guest View

By Mike Johnson | Oct 16, 2016
Photo by: City of Edmonds Mike Johnson

Last month, I received a call at 3:30 in the morning from Waterwatch, a Public Works 24-hour response line, of a dog stuck in a storm drain.

On my way to respond, I received another call, from the Edmonds Police patrol sergeant, that we had to start thinking of a way to get the dog out. When I arrived at work, I loaded up the push camera (equipped with a rod to inspect pipes and sewers) and met Edmonds Police Officer Josh Hwang on site.

He explained that we had a 30-35-pound pit bull, as well as a raccoon, stuck in a storm drain a foot in diameter. The dog had chased the raccoon into the pipe and lodged himself in more than 90 feet from the entrance.

The dog’s owners were away for the weekend, and a friend was watching it. Needless to say, he was sick with worry about what he might have to tell the owners when they returned.

I pushed the camera down the pipe. At about 50 feet from the catch basin, near the other end, I saw two sets of eyes looking at me. I pulled the camera back and watched the raccoon’s eyes follow it.

Officer Hwang and I quietly stood back.

The raccoon climbed out of the pipe – with the dog still lodged in it – and into the next downstream pipe. We placed a cone in the downstream pipe so the raccoon couldn’t turn around and scramble back out.

I pushed the camera back up the other pipe to the stuck dog. We decided to call a tank truck to clean out the pipe to try to free it.

I called signal and sign maintenance technician Darren Browning to join us, and we carefully cleaned about 50 feet of pipe. While doing this, Fire District 1, on scene, told us the dog had backed up to within 10 feet of the other end of the pipe.

Knowing that, we continued to slowly clean the pipe as we moved closer to the dog.

Somehow, the dog was scared enough of the noisy, approaching cleaning nozzle that it slowly moved back.

Finally, it reached Officer Hwang.

He pulled the dog – we found out its name was Rue Rue – from the pipe and returned him to the dog sitter, who was very thankful for the city’s help.

Rue Rue was wet and tired, but very glad to be out of that pipe!

Mike Johnson is the storm maintenance lead for the city of Edmonds.


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