Thursday, May 17, 2012

Not a good way to clean out your Ventilation System!

I know I've been gone for a long time; at least a month or maybe even two! I have been so terribly busy I'm not even sure how long it's been since I've had the chance to spend more than 15 minutes at this computer. But tonight my Big Guy is in another town doing his thing as the "Very Friendly Train Engineer" and I am finally free from work to take a couple of hours for myself; I guess if you count the three loads of laundry I'm working on, making out the paychecks to give to the crew tomorrow (Payday every Friday) and trying to groom the knots out of Cookie's neglected hair as my time. Anyway, here I am finally pecking away!

I wanted to tell you about something that happened about a week ago and still has me pretty shook up when I think about it. I have taken on a property management position that keeps me hopping and I'm constantly rushing here and there to get things done. Our poor little FooFoo doggies and our youngest daughter's Chihuahua Rocky have had to keep each other company while I am working although I do come home at least once every day, usually at lunch, to take them out to potty and make certain they are happy. After working a full day, I came home to find Chrissy acting like a total spaz, running around in circles, barking hysterically. Of course she does this sometimes when she just needs to go potty but this time it seemed different. She didn't head for the door like she normally does and her barking was more like a warning.

In the midst of her crazy barking I thought I could hear Rocky's muffled bark and as I followed Cookie, who had finally stopped jumping on me like she always does when I enter the house, down the hall to the bathroom where the muffled barking seemed to be coming from. I thought perhaps Rocky was stuck behind the toilet again. This has happened quite often since he has lost his hearing and his sight. Rocky will wander aimlessly until he reaches a spot that he gets stuck in, becomes confused and then he will just bark until he is rescued. 

But as I entered the bathroom I was shocked to find the floor vent cover flipped off of the hole and laying nearby and the muffled bark was coming from inside the hole!

At first I thought there was no way Rocky could have fit down into that small space but reality set in when again I heard the bark from the hole. I felt the cold burst of the air conditioning and ran quickly to turn off the unit. Then, going back to the bathroom, I laid down on the floor and tried to look into the hole but could not see anything. By now the barking was becoming almost a sorrowful sound as if he had been crying out for quite some time and was giving up. My heart was sinking at the thought of what this poor little guy, blind and deaf, not to mention probably freezing from the cold air blowing continuously on his very short haired body, must have been feeling.

I flattened out on the floor as best I could and slipped my arm into the hole, extending and stretching as far as possible. Nothing on one side so I changed positions and tried the other side but felt nothing there either. He had to have been at least three feet from the hole. 

A really sickening thought of not being able to get him out was entering my mind but I just started praying that God would help him and then I remembered that Rocky usually feels vibrations so I began to tap on the bottom floor of the vent. I continued to tap and pray and I must've been tapping and praying continuously for at least ten minutes when finally I felt what I thought was a small cold nose. It was Rocky's nose and the tapping had worked, but I still had to get a hold on him somehow so I could pull him out. I tickled his chin with my fingertips, hoping he would crawl closer and when he did, I pinched the end of his muzzle between my fingers and pulled.

Eureka! I was able to inch him closer and soon Rocky's head was almost completely in view. As I reached with both hands to try and pull him by his head, I realized he barely fit into the vent. Then I had to twist his body while pulling him out and he cried as his chest came through almost like birthing a baby!

When he was completely out, I sat on the floor holding him tight while his small body quivered. As over-wrought as I felt about the whole ordeal, Rocky surely was even more scarred by it. I stared in disbelief at the hole in the floor and wondered how he could've possibly gotten into it. I had noticed that due to his unusually curved nails, sometimes he had caught them in the vents when walking over them, but I had never dreamed anything like this could happen.

Once I thought he was ready to be let loose, I realized I would never be able to leave him to wonder throughout the house again so I quickly looked on Craigslist and found a 20" by 30" metal crate with a tray floor, large enough for his small bed and still room to move around if he got up. I called the number and to my surprise found the seller lived only a short distance from here. After putting Rocky safely into his small travel crate, I went to buy the larger crate and it has worked perfectly.

We were very fortunate that this bizarre happening did not end up as a tragedy. I wrote a short post about it on my Facebook page to warn friends and even had a response from one of them that their cat had crawled into their ventilation once and they were able to get her out. I can see a curious cat wanting to explore a small space like that and easily finding their way out again, but a deaf and blind little dog finding his way back, that had to be a small miracle!