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Local dog rescued from steep embankment

'All tails are wagging'


Last updated 1/8/2020 at 12:50pm

Photo courtesy of Everett Fire Department

Firefighter Travis Gamm rescued Robert Stockton and his dog from vegetation and shrubs down the bluff before using a rope to bring them to safety.

"Our own hometown fire department is a shining example of people selflessly helping others, while simply doing their job," said Mukilteo resident Robert Stockton. "The very best there is!"

Stockton went through quite the scare when his beloved pug-schnauzer-mix dog, Mr. Gryfinn, was nowhere to be found Saturday, Dec. 14.

He searched everywhere for the dog. He drove around town, called for him, and even posted a request for help on Nextdoor. It was unlike the 13-year-old dog to suddenly go missing.

Stockton said the dog typically has a shock collar to avoid unwarranted adventures through the neighborhood. He was not wearing the collar when he went on a walkabout alone the night before.

Desperate to find him, Stockton went over to the bluff near his house and called for Mr. Gryfinn. Sure enough, the dog was down the embankment.

Stockton said he could hear the dog about 35 feet down the bluff, stuck in vines, vegetation, and shrubs. So, he climbed down to get him.  

He was able to reach the nervous dog, but Mr. Gryfinn was too scared to provide much help in the rescue. Stockton said he eventually slipped out of his collar and went further down the embankment.

Photo courtesy of Robert Stockton

Everett Fire's Travis Gamm went down the steep embankment to rescue Robert Stockton and his dog, Mr. Gryfinn, Dec. 14. Stockton's wife, Jamie, called 911 after he climbed down to get the dog.

The terrain was far too difficult to navigate and Stockton, at age 73, said his knees were not as strong as they used to be.

At that point, Stockton's wife called 911.

Stockton said an entire crew from the Mukilteo Fire Department showed up within minutes. The Everett Fire Department also responded as mutual aid.

The firefighters used a tree, rope, and harnesses to pull the dog-dad duo up the steep slope to level ground. Everett Fire's Travis Gamm ultimately went over the edge to rescue Stockton and carry Mr. Gryfinn to safety. Gamm also wrapped the dog in a towel to calm him during the climb.

A video on the department's Facebook page shows the "tail end" of the rescue with Gamm and his crewmates.

"We are happy to report that all tails are wagging and everyone is doing well with no injuries," the department said. "Great teamwork by all with a happy outcome!"


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