Hero & Zero: Dog Rescuers

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hero and zero
Photo courtesy of the Marin County Sheriff’s Office.

Hero: Dog gone. Right over the precipitous side of a fire road near Baltimore Canyon in Kentfield. Gracie, a 12-year-old pooch, hadn’t been seen in 15 minutes and had stopped responding to calls, prompting Ed Bernstein, her worried person, to dial 911. A village of rescuers arrived on the scene, including Marin County Parks and Open Space rangers, Marin County Sheriff’s deputies, firefighters from Kentfield Fire Protection and a California Highway Patrol (CHP) helicopter. Ranger Michael Warner assessed the area, which included steep drainage with 60 to 70 percent slopes and vertical pitches. A firefighter rappelled down 125 feet through heavy poison oak, but no Gracie. A CHP helicopter also made a futile search, hampered by the thick brush. Although it looked bleak, Ranger Martin Acosta and Deputy Michelle Wagner started up from the bottom of the drainage slope, while Deputy Chris Bondanza and Ranger Warner made their way down, all of them calling to the dog. Finally, they heard a response and discovered poor Gracie pinned in the brush. Frightened, she bit Ranger Warner twice during the rescue, until they were able to soothe her and carry her down the slope to safety. We’re thrilled to report that the senior pup is expected to fully recover from the shock, dehydration and bruising she suffered from the experience. Mission accomplished.

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Got a Hero or a Zero? Please send submissions to nikki_silverstein@yahoo.com. Toss roses, hurl stones with more Heroes and Zeroes at pacificsun.com.

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