Wednesday afternoon, a 125-pound Great Pyrenees in the Union Valley area became trapped up to its neck in a what firefighters describe as a “quicksand pit” made up of water, sand and mud at least four feet deep. The treacherous pit formed because of all the rain the county has received in the past few days.

“The dog (was) starting to suffer from shock and hypothermia (when we got there),” said Edward Ragsdale, chief of the Union Valley Volunteer Fire Department.

Concerned neighbors began to gather to watch the extraction process, which took about two and half hours before the dog was removed in one piece and taken to a local veterinarian.

“It was quite an attraction,” he said. “They were all just concerned for the dog.”

The rescue wasn’t an easy one, Ragsdale said, saying a neighbor and a fire fighter got stuck in the pit attempting to rescue the trapped dog and had to be pulled out as well. Also adding to the difficulty, was the dog’s massive weight and the fact that the dog was scared.

“It wasn’t real friendly,” Ragsdale said, saying the dog, who the owner described as friendly, kept trying to bite firefighters. “A dog will do a lot of things when it’s scared.”

After realizing that the dog just couldn’t be pulled out, the three firefighters on scene decided to use plywood supplied by a neighbor so that they could climb out onto the pit near the dog. They then crawled out carefully on the wood and dug under the dog. Once they got the dog loosened, they put a sheet under it. It took four people to lift the dog from the hole.

“Everything worked out quite well for us and the dog,” he said of the rescue, saying the owner was grateful.

The owner of the dog could not be reached for comment, so the condition of the dog was not known by presstime. “It’s the first animal rescue we’ve done in some time,” Ragsdale said.

In the past, he said the department has rescued trapped animals as well as some pigs that washed away down stream.