By Paul Thornton
A CURIOUS canine sparked an eight-hour rescue mission after chasing a rabbit down a warren.
Yorkie, a Jack Russell cross, had to be dug out of the rabbit-hole by fire fighters after he became lodged in narrow passages.
The tiny tunnel was too small for the terrier to turn and he became wedged 14-foot along and could not free himself.
Despite desperate efforts to free him his worried owner had to call on local emergency workers after her beloved dog could not escape.
The five-year-old pooch was eventually hoisted to safety and despite a little dehydration and stiffness was none the worse for wear.
The rescue unfolded in fields at Atton, in the Scottish Borders.
Owner Lynn Lauder said she had been tending to a horse she kept at stables at Bleechfields while Yorkie and sister Whitey played together.
The 40-year-old activities officer became worried when she called on the mutts and only Whitey returned – covered in distinctive dirt.
The clue led Lynn to a nearby rabbit warren and, after checking several holes, finally heard the faint bark of the longhaired cross of a Jack Russell and a Patterdale terrier.
Her beloved pet had strayed into the side of a warren and delved so far in he could not turn round.
Lynn was unable to free him despite five hours of digging and, with the light fading, called the local fire watch at Eyemouth.
She said: “Yorkie had obviously got sight of a rabbit and chased it into the hole.
“But he is a chunky wee man and got himself stuck in the narrow tunnel and couldn’t get himself turned round.
“We dug in a bit but couldn’t get to him and as the light started to fail we became a bit worried we weren’t going to get him out – it was all getting a bit frantic.”
A fire crew rushed in to the scene to help and were at first concerned for Yorkie’s welfare.
Officer in charge, Gale Coates, said: “He was quite still and I was quite worried at first.”
But one officer devised a make-shift harness to pull him free at around 7.20pm, almost eight hours after he went missing.
Gale added: “We dug in from the bottom and reached in with a pole with a rope looped at the top.
“We managed to get it under his arms and pull him gently back out.
“When he came out, you would not know that he had been there for eight hours, he seemed none the worse for wear.
“He looked ready to charge after the next rabbit that came along.”
Lynn said after a bath and some dinner Yorkie was back to his old self.
She said: “He was a bit hungry and dehydrated but by the next morning he was fine. I don’t think he saw that he was in any danger, he was just happy to see everyone.
“It’s a big thanks to the fire brigade, if it hadn’t been for their quick thinking I don’t know what would have happened.
“I have had Yorkie since he was born and I would be absolutely devastated to lose him.”