It was after hours for typical plumbing businesses and late on a Saturday evening and I just hopped into bed and pulled the doona up over myself when the phone rang… I answered the phone and there was a woman on the other end of the line that said frantically, “Help! It’s an emergency! We need someone urgently! One of our puppies has fallen down the drain!”.
It was just past 10 o’clock at night and I thought the lady was taking the piss. It took me a while to respond and I said “Excuse me, what did you say?” and she repeated, “We need help urgently. A puppy has fallen down a drain and we can’t get it out!”.
I could hear the tone of her voice I knew that she wasn’t mucking around. I quickly put her address into my phone. And then I told her that I’ll be on my way as soon as I could. For The Brisbane Plumbers, after-hours calls could mean anything’s in store but I’ve never had an after hours emergency like this.
The Emergency After Hours Plumbers To The Rescue
I was driving towards the job site and thinking to myself how the hell did a puppy end up getting in a drain. I played out different scenarios in my head but could not figure out what had happened. It was about a 30-minute drive to the site. Finally, I arrived and the owner met me out the front. They rushed me around the back to where they had cut out a section of the drain on the outside wall.
I heard the puppy whimpering in the drain line and it certainly was blocked in there. I grabbed my CCTV camera from the van and slowly pushed the camera upstream to the drain line to see where it was located. On my camera monitor, I could see a tiny little puppy’s face squished up in a pipe yelping out for help.
The drain line was completely blocked by the puppy. It was wedged in tight and not moving at all. This puppy would have to be the luckiest puppy alive. The drain line that was stuck in was suspended underneath a wooden floor and we were able to get access to the pipework.
We had to cut out a section of the drain in order to get access to the puppy. I used my locator to get as close to the puppy as I could and cut through the pipe. I’ve never been so nervous cutting a piece of PVC pipe. I was able to cut out the section of pipe with the puppy still stuck in the cut-out section.
The puppy was jammed in the drain line. On top of that, we were unable to pull him out by his legs. I had to shake the piece of pipe down in a downward motion in order to free the puppy and let it slide out. It was quite a relief when the puppy came out and was in good condition and happy to be free. We wrapped the puppy up in a towel and took it to its mum wrapped up in a towel.
How Did It Happen?
After the after hours rescue, we did a bit of investigation, to find out how the puppy stuck itself in the drain. The mother of the puppy and its litter we all sleeping in the bathroom with the heat lamp on as it was cold during winter. Somehow the puppies had moved the floor grate off the middle floor drain leaving the pipe open. The owners had told me that two puppies had actually fallen down the drain. Luckily they managed to pull one out by its tail. The second one, which is the one that got stuck, decided to swim through the floor gulley and got stuck on the outlet side.
The owners of the puppy decided to call it “Lucky”. Which was quite fitting because it really is the luckiest puppy to be alive.
We manage to get some fantastic footage of the puppy with a CCTV camera and the rescue of the pup coming out which you can see on this page.
The following week was a whirlwind media frenzy and the story spread wide and far. We featured on the front and second page of the Courier Mail in Queensland. We featured on the 6 o’clock news for Channel Nine throughout Australia and New Zealand. I didn’t realise that it was being shown in Western Australia. But I was lucky enough that my uncle sent me a photo of my face on my grandfather’s TV as he was watching the news at night (which was pretty awesome). The content was also shared across multiple websites across the world. It was during March 2020 when the peak of COVID was ramping up and it was a feel-good story that was great to be a part of. We even got a small timeslot on The Today Show with Carl and Ali on World Plumbing Day.
It is a job that I will never forget. And it always puts a smile on my face whenever I think about it. Hopefully a few more of our after hours calls are just as exciting as this one.