Last night a little after 9 or so our doorbell rang, very unusual for us. Ross was enjoying his bubble bath so I checked through the peephole and saw our 16 year old-ish Neighbor Girl. When I opened the door, something was clearly bothering her and she quickly asked to borrow a flashlight because her dog had puppies and they managed to let one of the puppies fall down a sewer pipe.
Yes, a sewer pipe.
I got her a flashlight, alerted my bubble-covered firefighter of the situation and followed Neighbor Girl across the street to her front yard. With the flashlight down the pipe we could see the wiggly butt of the puppy (it was start to walk down the pipe which turned parallel to the ground). This pipe was at least 5 feet deep and about 8 inches wide.
Ross came out a minute later and a couple minutes after that our neighbors/friends Chris and Carly bolted out of their house with flashlights. And cooking tongs. Carly was a woman with a plan, a plan to use cooking tongs to rescue the pup.
While Ross went back to poke around our garage for some appropriate tools, we started discussing who we should call. We're not actually in the city limits so the city fire and police departments didn't sound like the right fit. And it wasn't an emergency-emergency so 911 felt a little over the top. By the time Ross got back, we had all settled on 311 and Neighbor Girl was calling.
At this juncture I started to wonder where the hell her parents were.
As Neighbor Girl talks to 311 a sheriff's car pulls up, apparently sent by 311. We give him the scoop and he points his flashlight down the pipe. Yes, he confirms, there is a puppy down that pipe. Then he proceeds to stand there.
Next a pick-up comes howling down the street and screeches to a halt in front of the house. Neighbor Dad jumps out of the passenger side and practically leaps over one of his kid's friends to get to the scene. Down on all fours he sticks his head into the pipe the way a kid glues his face to the candy store window. Then Neighbor Dad awkwardly gets up (everything this guy does is pretty awkward) and starts muttering about needing a coat hanger. It quickly becomes clear that he's a little buzzed from where ever he's been during all this.
Meanwhile Chris, who is bald, with a beard and tatted-up, and Ross, who is sweating from his scalding hot bath, are discussing who has the better wet-dry vac for the situation. Maybe we can just suck the puppy out of the pipe; after all Ross saw it done to a cat once. And Carly and I are just standing there; me pregnant, barefoot and in my PJs and her holding a flashlight in one hand and cooking tongs in the other. (It hadn't taken long to realize the tongs were not going to solve the issue but as an official flashlight holder, Carly had not had the luxury of returning them to her kitchen.)
Neighbor Dad, who owns a carpet cleaning company, hears the boys continuing on about the wet-dry vacs and chimes in that he can go get his work truck and we can use the suction on those hoses too. Note: this is a newborn wierner dog puppy. Industrial size hoses are hardly necessary.
Instead of going to get the work truck though, Neighbor Dad commences to building some kind of bent coat hanger on a broom stick contraption.
As if on cue, around the corner comes the Pflugerville Fire Dept in what I swear must be the biggest truck they own. Lights flashing it rolls up to the scene and off jump four firefighters.
At this point Carly and I nearly double over laughing...silently of course. We don't want to seem rude but looking around us we have distressed Neighbor Girl, her 2 friends, slightly drunk Neighbor Dad, the sheriff's deputy (who continues to do nothing), sweaty, tatted-up Chris, pregnant me, tong-toting Carly, 4 firefighters and some chick from down the street who has recently showed up in what is clearly her going out outfit.
There's not much we can do (other than laugh) so Ross and I head home, leaving this in the very capable hands of the local FD. Right before going to sleep, I peered out the blinds and it appeared the firefighters were unloading equipment off the truck to tackle the issue.
Today I texted with Carly and learned that pup was saved, in fact by Chris using the coat hanger broom stick contraption which Neighbor Dad was experienced with from his raccooning experiences.
Just another night in the 'hood.