‘Glad to find him’ – Rafting guides rescue dog from hole near river | Local News

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When Nick Hummel, a resident of Cody, came down to the shore of the Shoshone River on August 17, he saw a 10-pound dog he never expected to see.

Rafting guide Keenan Bruce, with the help of colleagues, had just pulled the dog out of a crevasse by the river.

Hugo, an Italian rescue greyhound estimated to be 16 years old by his owners – Hummel’s parents – had been missing for nine days by that time.

“I thought after a few days a 10-pound dog, he was probably gone, but we kept social media,” Hummel said. “He was the happiest little guy when they took him out. I gave him a bath, some food and he is a happy little camper.

Hugo went missing on August 7 as Nick’s parents, Tiffany and Todd Hummel of Rawlins, visited Nick and his sister Rochelle McCaslin at her home near Mentock Park.

Todd said it was unusual for the dog they call Tiffany’s Shadow to leave her, but he did.

“We had to leave on Wednesday,” Tiffany said. “We drove around and searched for it every day.”

The family also posted information about the missing dog on social media, where Todd said three local women continued the search.

Other than a sighting of a dog matching the description seen near the river, there was no good news.

Then, over a week later, Will Poston and Bruce, guides for Wyoming River Trips, spotted something near the river bank.

“We sometimes see deer, otters, muskrats, eagles, ospreys and more,” said Elyse Guarino, co-owner of the rafting company. “So he and his clients were trying to figure out what it was. It didn’t look like a muskrat or an otter. It didn’t look like a fox.

After some discussions between the boats, Poston said it could be a dog.

“Will’s boat stopped to try to catch the dog and the dog retreated into the hole,” Guarino said. “The hole was deep enough that when he looked inside he couldn’t see the dog anymore. He tried to push down a paddle to catch the dog, but that didn’t work either.

So he finished the trip with his clients and told the other guides and management about the dog and suggested posting it on Cody Classifieds. He was hesitant to post himself, as the last post about a lost dog he found and returned to his owner received a lot of negative comments.

One of the owners of the rafting business posted it on Cody Classifieds and asked people to only contact or comment if they had information or something useful to say. Within minutes, the post received a comment with Hugo’s flyer.

Nick called the office and river manager Leighton Blanchard said guides last saw the dog near Sulfur Creek and some of the guides were heading to a boat to see if they could find the dog. dog. Bruce, who also owns High Country Fly Guides, Blanchard and Guarino made their way to a boat carried by Landon Blanchard.

After turning on a light in the hole, Keenan confirmed the dog was there. He started digging on the other side of the collapsed shore and tried to coax the dog by shaking a bowl of dog food and throwing treats inside. They shouted “Hugo puppy” in a soft, soothing tone.

Nothing worked and the dog retreated further into the hole.

Keenan finally made an entrance large enough near the back of the tunnel that he could reach his arm inside. The guides continued to discuss how best to do this without scaring the dog further.

They speculated that the number of large birds of prey they had seen in this area over the past few days was probably having their eye on them, and they were likely in survival mode. After a few attempts to gently persuade the dog of the hole with his hand, Keenan decided the best thing to do was to fully engage.

He tried to grab the dog a few times and only caught teeth and claws before one last attempt found enough grip on the dog to pull him out of the hole. As Keenan pulled Hugo back, Hummel came to the riverside. It was the second person Hugo was seeing and it seemed to calm him down. It took 20 minutes to save the dog.

“It’s pretty crazy,” Hummel said. “Most people would assume a dog like this is long gone. There are coyotes, pumas, bobcats, big birds, lots of predators.

Guarino said that while Hugo was visibly shaking as he left, he was clearly relieved to be with Hummel and licked him whenever he could.

For Guarino, the effort of her guides was a clear sign that she had the right people working for her.

“We had over 34 applications from the time we started running ads in February until June,” she said. “We interviewed all of our final candidates and hired those who we felt would help create the kind of community and culture that we wanted at WRT and that we wanted to be an example in the wider community.

“Empathy, kindness and compassion are three qualities that were very important to us in addition to being hard workers, good decision makers, quality pedal boats and being able to provide a top notch customer experience. . “

She added that all guides love dogs too.

Hugo’s family are grateful that everything worked out. Last weekend, Tiffany and Todd returned to Cody to pick up the dog and thank the people who turned a seemingly lost cause into a happy conclusion.

“He’s a very small dog that never came out of our yard,” Tiffany said. “He is a survivor and we are extremely lucky to find him. We are very grateful to the people who found it.


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