She’s a real silly sausage but little Lulu is lucky to be alive after firefighters battled for four hours to free her from a rabbit hole.
The excitable four-year-old miniature dachshund had dashed off to chase a rabbit during a walk in woodland near Billing View, Rawdon, but quickly became trapped among the twisted roots of a large tree.
After trying for an hour-and-a-half to free her, desperate owner Nicola Linfield, 49, was forced to call the fire service for help.
A technical rescue team - from Cleckheaton’s green watch - was despatched and spent the next four hours tirelessly digging in pouring rain and high winds to free little Lulu.
Now back home and thankfully unscathed after her underground ordeal, Lulu will be kept on a tight leash in the future, according a relieved Nicola.
“She just shot after the rabbit and down a hole and didn’t come out. I knew within 15 minutes that she couldn’t get out. Some local builders, working nearby, came with shovels and forks and we tried to get her out but couldn’t.
“I’m so humbled by what the firefighters did. I didn’t expect them to go to such lengths. Obviously I would have done, as she’s my dog. I was prepared to camp overnight.
“At one stage it was mentioned that a new team might have to take over, but then they said they were not going to leave without getting her out. The amount they they dug out and how far they had to go to get her out, was just incredible. It was pouring down and I was standing there shivering but they just kept going.
“It was awful. I could hear her and tell she was stressed. I was worried she’d suffocate. When they lifted her out I cried. I couldn’t believe she was out. It was a miracle really, because of how deep she was. She looked scared but as soon as she saw me she was happy.”
Nicola said this was the third time the nosey pooch had bolted down a hole - the last time being on her dad’s farm on Boxing Day when they spent two hours digging her out.
“It’s not ideal but she’ll have to be kept on a lead now. She can’t do that again.”
Ian Thompson, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s technical rescue officer for Leeds, who oversaw the rescue, praised the team of firefighters from Cleckheaton’s green watch for their incredible efforts in saving Lulu.
“They worked exceptionally hard and were extremely professional in releasing the dog.”
He said they were able to use special cameras to find Lulu down the warren.
“We could hear whining and whimpering and the odd bark, indicating she was stuck and not happy.”
He added: “It’s always nice to have a successful outcome from an animal rescue. We were extremely pleased. ”