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Alaska Beat

Earthquake sends Alaska dog to bottom of well -- but it survives

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published January 15, 2013

KCAW reports that a dog who fell into an abandoned well following the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that shook Southeast Alaska on Jan. 4, is recovering nicely, and her people are most grateful.

Yakutat resident Ron Buller said that that his beloved dog Tinaa-- a Pitbull/ Blue Heeler mix-- went out for a walk in the sleepy Southeast Alaska town just hours before a 7.5 magnitude earthquake shook the area. Following the quake Tinaa was nowhere to be found.

"I went out that night looking for her and I didn't find her anywhere," Buller told KCAW. "I figured she was just visiting someone, you know?"

Tinaa, which means "copper" in Tlingit, wasn't visiting with anyone. She'd fallen into a well. A neighbor contacted Buller around 8 p.m. on Jan. 5 and told him that someone had heard distant barking coming from under a building close by. Buller's son, JP, went to check it out.

Buller's son soon stumbled upon an abandoned well, and when he peered into the 35-foot-deep opening and flashed his light, he saw Tinaa.

A 12-person rescue crew was called in and JP was lowered into the well. "When he got down there, he was standing in water that was waist-deep," Buller said. "So, the poor dog had been standing in water for at least 24 hours in that well, trying to keep herself alive."

Tinaa was lifted out of the well, but later was diagnosed with Giardia, an infection caused by a parasite often found in stagnant dirty water. However, Tinaa has recovered nicely and is doing, well ... well.

Read more and listen to the account at KCAW.

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