An Island Bay couple, married 40 years, are grateful to CityCare staff who went ''above and beyond'' to retrieve their engagement ring from a drain.
Clive and Clelia Lind had hoped to enjoy a walk through the Otari-Wilton Bush Reserve with members of the Wellington Beagle Club, but their dog Finn had other ideas.
When he leapt out of the car, his lead caught around Mrs Lind's ring finger, causing her some pain.
''I could just feel my finger swelling up,'' she says.
As she removed her engagement ring, it popped off her finger, hit a concrete kerb and bounced into a grille-covered sump of dirty water at least a metre deep.
Some of the club members tried to prise open the grille, but ''even with several men tugging, it just wouldn't budge''.
Mrs Lind insisted on continuing their walk, and worrying about the ring later.
''Everyone seemed more upset than I was.''
''We thought we had lost it,'' remembers Mr Lind.
Later that evening, she reported the loss to Wellington City Council's 24-hour report number. CityCare Ltd, which provides construction, maintenance and management services to the reserve.
CityCare staff member Brent Faamoe led the search until 10pm, when they decided to return the following morning, by which time the Linds had set out on holiday to Taupo.
They had reported the ring as lost with AMI Insurance. But at 3.30pm, they received a call from Mr Faamoe to say the ring had been recovered.
''We emptied the sump out and jumped in,'' Mr Faamoe says. ''We felt around the ground with our hands to find it.''
When the Linds returned from their holiday two weeks later, Mr Faamoe returned the ring, in spotless condition.
''We were actually quite stunned at the extent to which Brent and others were prepared to go to help us,'' Mr Lind says.
''The ring itself is not that valuable, but in terms of what it represents, it's actually priceless.
''Getting it back against such odds means a lot.''
Mr Faamoe and co-worker Sam Daniels say such a callout is not uncommon.
''Sometimes earrings, watches, cellphones and family heirlooms find their way into drains, and we have to fish them out the same way.''
- The Dominion Post
If you had a choice, which would you prefer on Christmas day?Related story: Sun takes a Christmas holiday