A dog was reunited with its relieved owners yesterday after being rescued from a tight, 10m-deep limestone crevice in the hills behind Greymouth.
The three-year-old Australian fox terrier-jack russell cross, Middy, went missing on Saturday during a walk up the Kings Park Walkway, in the Mount Street area.
Charis Sweeney said Middy "bounded away" through dense undergrowth, apparently chasing a bird, about five minutes walk from the bottom of the track about 1.30pm.
"Then I couldn't see her," Mrs Sweeney said.
Despite thorough searching on Saturday and Sunday the dog couldn't be found.
Darren Sweeney said he thought he heard Middy at one stage but things went quiet.
During a further search yesterday morning they found it down a hole deep in undergrowth about 100m off the track.
The Greymouth Volunteer Fire Brigade arrived about 12.30pm with lines rescue equipment.
Efforts to coax Middy into a bag lowered into the bottom of the hole did not succeed, so firefighter Natalie Leranth was lowered into the natural limestone shaft - just 40cm wide - where she was able to retrieve the dog with relative ease.
Fire brigade station officer Jason Prendergast said it was a positive outcome, after a three-hour operation.
"While we've got the gear, it's not something entirely designed for the rescue of animals.
"The location ... was testing and we had to make do," Prendergast said.
Sweeney said Middy was "bloody lucky" and his 9-year-old daughter Sahara would be very grateful to have her pet back.
"I just want to thank the fire brigade and all those who assisted, and those in the community who contacted us.
"It shows community spirit larger than ever. It's humbling."
- Greymouth Star