Charlie the border collie is one lucky dog after surviving a fall down a 15-metre mine shaft on Friday.
Charlie and his owner David Maher were prospecting at Moonlight Flat, south of Castlemaine in Australia, when he ventured a bit too far down a disused mine, the Bendigo Advertiser reported.
"It was an old tunnel and I was photographing the quartz veins in there," Maher said. "Charlie went down further and I called him a few times and the last time all I heard was a boink, boink, boink of him falling down the shaft.
"I thought that would be the end of him, because I couldn't even approach the edge because it was too slopey and I didn't want to end up down there next to him."
Luckily for Charlie, Maher's brother is part of the CFA's mine rescue crew in Bendigo and was able to get the team down to help out.
CFA operations officer Alun Hughson said mine rescues, especially of the canine kind, were not something that happened often. He said "Oscar 1" - the speciality CFA mine rescue team - had done the extraction.
"I think there was six of them, they have a specialist vehicle with all their ropes and breathing apparatus," he said.
Maher said he was relieved when he saw the team carrying Charlie out.
"I have had him for five years and I spend all my time with him," he said.
It's not the first time Charlie has survived a serious accident. He was in the car with Maher when he collided head-on with a B-double at Tarnagulla in 2010.
Maher spent six weeks in a coma, but Charlie was fine.
After this latest accident, Maher is making sure Charlie takes it easy. He spent the weekend at McIvor Road Veterinary Centre fixing his dislocated hip and will be whiling away the next few weeks on a special bed in the lounge room.
Maher said the veterinary centre was "really, really helpful" and he thanked them for their support.
- Bendigo Advertiser
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