A pet dog which fell down a rabbit hole has been reunited with its owner after she survived for eight days – by licking moisture off rocks.
Minnie, an eight-year-old Jack Russell, was being walked by Simon and Leela Humphreys when she disappeared into bushes chasing rabbits.
The distraught couple tirelessly searched the area before they received a call from a neighbour who heard whimpering below the area Minnie vanished on December 8.
Simon and Leela, of St Cleer, near Liskeard in Cornwall, dug at the scene for more than an hour but realised they needed help.
After raising the alarm the couple, who have two children, were assisted by 13 firefighters who spent three hours digging to free the pet.
Relieved Simon, 56, an ecologist, said: “She will chase rabbits now and again but will come back after about ten minutes later but she didn’t this time. Many of our friends and family joined in to try and look for her but we couldn’t find her anywhere.
“But then we got a call from our friend Fay who said she could hear whimpering.
“We went to the area and spent an hour digging but realised we needed some help so we called the fire brigade.”
Simon said Minnie was slightly panicked but after a good bath and some food was in good spirits and did not require any treatment.
He said: “She was washed out and very skinny – she looked about a third of her size. Thankfully the weather was fairly mild and there was no frost. I think it would have been a different outcome had the weather been colder.
“She was so excited when we managed to get at her, she was making quite a lot of noise which was pretty distressing for us and the firefighters.”
who heard Minnie whimpering – had she not heard her I doubt we’d have Minnie with us now.
“She was very thin and smelly and very tired, but she had survived because I noticed there was water dripping off the rocks. We can’t thank the firefighters enough for their help.”
Leela, 57, a GP, said: “We’re so thankful to our friend Fay Pedler