Aslan, her faithful companion, literally got stuck trying to return to owner Sara Norris of San Marcos.
“It’s not like him not to come back,” she said.
On Thursday afternoon, Norris, who was staying at Thousand Trails in Pine Cove, called the emergency number at Animal Rescue Friends of Idyllwild for help finding Aslan. Norris continued her search, returning to the rocks, which she said she had circled several times before. Then she saw Aslan peering out between the boulders.
Robert Hewitt responded, and he and Norris discovered Aslan was trapped and stuck between two huge boulders. Fortunately, the dog’s paws could touch the ground, but he was exhausted from his frightening situation.
“This was more than I could do alone,” Hewitt said.
So he contacted the Cal Fire crews at Station 23 (Pine Cove). They responded and devised a technique to free Aslan. He was scared, but one of the firefighters held his head during the rescue ordeal, according to Norris.
They used hammers and chisels to carefully, stroke-by-stroke, create enough space for Aslan to finally be released. While chiseling, they covered the dog with a heavy safety blanket to ensure that he was not hurt from the rock’s splinters.
Aslan was probably trapped for about four hours, but the extraction from his boulder jail took at least 90 minutes. “A lot of things went right,” Hewitt acknowledged.
On Friday, Aslan and Norris were walking together again. “He’s doing fine today, but not sure of the leash,” she said happily.