MOUNT DESERT — Nobody, probably not even Moby himself, knows how he managed to get stuck 90 feet down a drainage culvert on Grants Hill Road in Hall Quarry on Sunday.
But everybody hopes the dog never does it again because it took fire department and public works personnel about four hours to get him out.
Moby, a husky, is nearly 16. He belongs to Bobbie Williams and Jason Watson.
Williams said the dog probably got into the culvert early Sunday morning because they had been looking for him all day.
“He doesn’t get around that well anymore, so we didn’t think he had gone far, but it was weird that we couldn’t find him,” she said. “He can’t really run and doesn’t chase anything, but maybe he was following a scent. I really don’t know what could have lured him in there.”
Williams was walking around the neighborhood looking for Moby late Sunday afternoon when she heard muffled barking coming from the culvert.
The fire department got the call about the trapped dog around 5 p.m.
“When we got on scene, we could hear it but couldn’t see it,” Fire Chief Mike Bender said. “We estimated it was about 90 feet down in the plastic culvert. We soon realized there was no way we could crawl in there or get anything in there to retrieve the dog.”
Bender called the Bar Harbor Public Works Department to see about borrowing the camera they use to check out sewer lines.
“I knew we were going to have to cut the culvert open, and I didn’t want to risk cutting exactly where the dog was,” he said.
Bar Harbor public works employee Tony Griffin delivered the camera.
In the meantime, Bender contacted Mount Desert’s highway superintendent, Ben Jacobs, who called out a couple of his employees. They brought a backhoe and small excavator to the site and began to digging to expose the culvert in the area where they thought the dog was.
“Once we got the camera, we snaked it down the culvert as far as we could, but still couldn’t locate the dog,” Bender said. “So, in one of the places where (public works) had dug, we cut a small hole in the top of the culvert and snaked the camera down there and finally located the dog.
“Then we had the backhoe dig a deeper trench so we could get a couple of people down there and cut a large hold in the top of the culvert so we could get the dog out.”
Williams said Moby seemed a little worse for wear, but was basically all right.
“I was amazed and overwhelmed at how helpful and really nice the fire department was,” Williams said. “They all seemed to care a lot about the dog. I thought they would be annoyed, but they were just as sweet as they could be.”
Williams also expressed appreciation to Jacobs, the highway superintendent.
“We were digging up his culvert and cutting it up, and he didn’t seem worried about it at all. He just wanted to get the dog out,” she said.
“Out of all of this, what impressed me the most was how helpful everyone wanted to be and how much they cared.”