Athens Woman Chases Dog into Well, Becomes Stuck
Updated: Thursday, January 31 2013, 07:37 PM EST
ATHENS -- In a well-known episode of "Lassie", the titular dog helps rescue a boy who falls into a well. An Athens County woman is now joking to friends that, in a recent real-life incident, it was the human AND the dog who needed to be rescued.
Natalie Daniels, 28, an Ohio University environmental science professor, was helping a student pull some radon water samples from a well near her home, when a blind dog for which she was caring fell 50 feet into the hole, which was half-full of freezing water.
Daniels quickly sprung into action by strapping on rock-climbing gear from her home, and asking her student to lower her into the well to rescue the drowning, flailing dog, named Dodge.
Unfortunately for Daniels, the rescue effort became a bit more complex once she was able to grab the dog. The boots worn by Daniels -- who normally weighs 135 lbs. -- were full of water, adding so much weight that the student could not pull the professor and Dodge out of the narrow well.
Richland Area volunteer fire fighters were called to the country home located on a hill off old Route 33. Daniels said the responders worked quickly by using a winch to pull her from the well.
Daniels was cold and had a few scrapes, but was not seriously hurt.
The professor said she never had a second thought about risking her well-being to save Dodge.
"There was no other choice. It was heartbreaking to see the dog struggling," she told ABC 6/FOX 28. "Letting the dog die was not an option."
Daniels described the incident as "a bit of a circus, and a little embarrassing", but she knows she did the right thing by going after Dodge.
"You cannot let a creature die like that," she said. "You have to do something."
Reporter: Lu Ann Stoia
Web Producer: Ken Hines