25 August 2015
“Dixie always comes back by 8:30 (at night),” said Fork Union resident Jennifer Flores. “She always sleeps with my daughter.”
But that Aug. 15 night – and the next – the little beagle didn’t come home, and young Selena Flores slept alone, and worried.
“We went to the store, and when we came back, she wasn’t at the house,” said 13-year-old Selena.
“We went looking for her. We went to the cornfield because she normally goes there...but she wasn’t there. And she didn’t come back,” Selena added.
“The next morning, Selena didn’t want to go to school,” Flores remembered, “but I promised her that when she got home we would go and look for Dixie.”
For the next two days, Selena reluctantly went to school and hurried home in the afternoon to search for Dixie. On the second day, Jennifer Flores heard a dog whining, and the family tracked the sound to a section of culvert pipe on River Road West obscured by brambles. They used scissors to cut the briars away, and Selena crawled into the narrow opening only to find that Dixie’s head was stuck, and she couldn’t move.
It was obvious that they wouldn’t be able to save her without help, so Jennifer Flores called 911. The prompt, concerned response surprised her. “I really didn’t think they would take a call like this seriously. She was a dog, stuck in a pipe... their response – the deputy and the fire department – it was nice to see,” Flores said.
“It might just be a dog to everybody else,” said Fluvanna County Animal Control Officer Patrick Wood, “but to that little girl... it might be something special to her.” Wood arrived on the scene shortly after Fork Union Volunteer Fire Department members.
All of the first responders were surprised by what they found at the scene about two miles outside of Fork Union. The dog was not simply trapped in a section of drainpipe; she had actually pushed her head through a crack between two adjoining sections of pipe and into an air pocket in the soil.