It’s common for cave explorers to come across interesting finds, but a group in Harrison County, Indiana, never would have guessed that an outing would turn into a rescue mission.
Although they regularly explore caves, this particular excursion at Dewey Hickman Nature Preserve was secretly about finding the perfect spot for one of the members of the group to propose to his girlfriend. That plan came to an abrupt end when one of them, Josiah Meert, noticed something moving at the bottom of a pit.
As the group carefully got closer, they were able to see a dog at the bottom of what they would later learn was a 30 foot deep pit. Even from that distance, they were able to tell that the black and white pup was severely underweight.
“We spotted his collar about 15 feet down surrounded by claw marks,” Trey Heinke, another member, said. “He then withstood another 15-foot drop to the floor of the pit.”
Using the equipment they had on them, the cave explorers carefully rappelled their way toward the dog and successfully got him out. Despite being severely underweight, the lost pup couldn’t help but to wag his little tail like crazy.
Temporarily, and aptly, nicknamed Dewey, the starving boy ate some food before the heroic group dropped him off at the Harrison County Animal Control.
Once he arrived, Dewey was treated for being malnourished and was carefully watched over. April Breeden, Director of the center, estimates that he was stuck in that cave for two weeks based on how skinny he had become.
It’s a miracle that Dewey was able to survive on his own in that cave for so long. The cave explorers noticed an empty turtle shell at the bottom of the pit, and April believes that it may have collected water, greatly aiding in his survival.
As Dewey was nursed back to health, word spread of his rescue. The wait for finding his parents was expected to take a while but, within two days, the owners were contacted and a reunion was set up!
Dewey, or rather, Hawkeye was thrilled to finally be reunited with his owners — a local dad and his little girl. Workers at the shelter were excited, too, and one of them eagerly waited with Hawkeye near their front door, camera ready to catch the moment.
Having been apart for over two weeks, you can tell just how happy they were to see each other. Once again, Hawkeye’s black and white tail couldn’t stop wagging!
Watch the joyous reunion below and don’t forget to share.
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