Casey Gets a Second ChanceOctober 18, 2013
by Kristen Hoffman
It wasn’t like Casey to just bolt. The 15 year old yellow lab has bad hips, eyesight, and hearing, and can generally be trusted not to run off.
Casey is aging but still has spunk, her face is lightening, and she carries herself carefully, her bright pink collar contrasts against her fur.
According to her owners, Casey could be trusted to hang out on the porch, and stay put. But something on Friday, October 4, something changed. “Something must have spooked her,” Nathan Chase, Casey’s owner said. Nathan, and his son Matthew were shocked by her quick departure and took to the woods to find her.
Casey went missing around 8:00 p.m., and the Chases were concerned that the dog would not make it through the night as the temperatures were beginning to dip.
After several hours, Nathan said that he didn’t think the old, arthritic dog would be coming home, and faced the tragic possibility that they would not see Casey again, after all, their 11 year old cat, and Casey’s best friend had disappeared a few weeks prior. But Matthew, 22, did not want to believe it, Casey has been his beloved pet since he was just seven years old, and he knew it wasn’t time for her to go.
Nearly four hours after she initially bolted, Matthew said he heard her whimpering in the nearby Musquash Swamp. “It was around 10:30 or 11:00, Matthew said.” Casey could barely keep her head above the murky water at times, “I wanted to jump in there, because I know she would jump in for me,” Matthew said. Instead, knowing the situation was dangerous, they called the fire department.
A crew from the Burns Hill Station arrived quickly, and Firefighter Mike Mulcay donned an ice rescue suit and waded out to the dog. The swamp can be described as a beaver pond, murky, and a bottom covered in muck, wood debris acted as both a deterrent and a savior. While Firefighter Mulcay had to make his way around the natural barricades, Casey was able to cling to woodpiles and keep her head above water.
“We train for cold water rescues,” Lieutenant Tim Kearns said. Mulcay was able to reach Casey and bring her home thanks to that training.
The rescue team entered the swamp at 51 James Way, about a quarter mile from the Chases’ home on Musquash Road.
At times, the water was chest deep Mulcay said, all the while he was checking for holes and other hazards that could have made the rescue risky.
Luckily, Mulcay reached Casey quickly, and he was able to carry her to shore where her family was anxiously awaiting her return. Mulcay, a dog owner said he could relate to the stress the Chase family was feeling during the ordeal.
Fortunately, the rescue turned out to be a success, and Carly is back to her old self. According to Nathan, it took her five baths and a few trips to the groomers to get her back to smelling like herself.
Ten days after the rescue, the crew her performed the rescue met up with the Chase family again. Casey was a bit shy from all of the attention, but came around with a bit of coaxing. But the Chase family has always known Casey to be a fighter, “The vet said she had cancer three years ago and she only had two months left,” Nathan said. He added that she has been a bit more cautious on her walks lately, and has absolutely no desire to go near Musquash swamp.