TOWN OF CONKLIN, NY – This is Lilah, a thirteen-and-a-half year old Golden Retriever living in the Town of Conklin.
Today, she is in good spirits, but just the other day, she was in a precarious situation.
Dog Owner Rudy Fuehrer says, “So at like quarter after six, here I am out with the dogs, I had the other two out on leads in the front of the house, and I hear a yip. And that little yip, yelp, was Lilah, I knew it.”
Fuehrer followed Lilah’s calls and was able to narrow down a proximity of where she could be. “And sure enough there’s a culvert pipe, and I said to myself, no way. I went back in the house, got a flashlight, I shown the flashlight down the culvert pipe, and there she was about mid-way down the pipe.”
Lilah showed interest, but didn’t budge, so Fuehrer came back with her favorite treat, slices of cheese. “She just, was not gonna come out. I think she could’ve come out if she had mustered enough energy, but I think she was so tired and I don’t know how long she was in the pipe.”
Without wasting any more time, Lilah’s owner dialed 911 and explained the situation. In just eight to twelve minutes, Trooper Jimmy Rasaphone and his partner Ana Reynas were on the scene.
The culvert is only eighteen to twenty inches wide; when you add running water on top of that, it is not a comfortable position to be in.
New York State Trooper Jimmy Rasaphone says, “Crawled on my elbows and my knees, just getting as low to the ground so I wouldn’t get stuck, I just kept going.”
Rasaphone had attached a rescue rope to Lilah’s leash before descending into the pipe. He had limited room once he was in the culvert to raise his arms and latch the leash onto Lilah’s collar. Sure enough, Rasaphone did just that and was able to hook Lilah up to the rescue line.
Fuehrer carefully pulled on the rope until Lilah was finally out of the culvert and back on solid ground.
Rasaphone says he was wet, dirty, and cold, but happy that he was able to help.
State Trooper Jimmy Rasaphone says, “I don’t like to ask someone to do something I wouldn’t do. So, I just did my part; I’m not scared of crawling and getting dirty.”
Fuehrer says that Trooper Reynas was also a God Send; she stayed above ground and made sure he was calm throughout the process.
Fuehrer says, “The whole ordeal, from the time they showed up until the time they left, I know the time stamp, I may not have it right, but I don’t think it was twenty-minutes.”
Lilah is now home safe and sound, thanks to the quick action from Trooper Jimmy Rasaphone and Ana Reynas.
The family is reunited again to celebrate the holiday weekend together.