A Liberty Lake dog trying to chase a porcupine found herself lodged in a rock pile for nearly 24 hours, requiring the help of the Spokane Valley Fire Department to get out.
Tuesday morning, 3-year-old Coco, a pure bred German Shepherd, suddenly disappeared while running around her two acre backyard in Liberty Lake. Coco's owner, Harry Mielke, said they looked for hours and couldn't find any sign of her.
Mielke said they looked again Thursday morning and heard a faint whimpering coming from a nearby rock field.
Mielke's son hiked to the area and found Coco head first into a rock pile. Coco was stuck so far into the rock pile Mielke quickly drove to a nearby fire station and asked for help.
"And, the leader said 'I think I can help you I'll be right behind you,'" he said
Several fire fighters along with a SCRAPS animal control officer gingerly worked for a half hour to free Coco. She was rushed to Ponti Veterinary Hospital where Dr. Jerry Ponti treated her for dehydration. Dr. Ponti also pulled 35-40 porcupine quills out Coco's face.
"They've got a love hate relationship, I think mostly hate," said Dr. Jerry Ponti as he described the relationship between dogs and porcupines.
Dr. Ponti said he treats 35 to 40 dogs a year who've been in a scuffle with porcupines. But, he added he's never treated a dog stuck in a rock pile while chasing a porcupine.
"That is an uncommon event in the dog world," he said
Mielke believes had it not been for the first responders his beloved family pet may not have survived.
"And, without those two entities, she'd be dead," said Mielke