LAC LA BICHE, Alta. — Koda is one lucky dog.
Geri Skjersven was working outside in her flower bed at her home near Lac La Biche, Alta., on Sunday when she heard a whimpering noise.
"Something told me you better go look because this doesn't sound right. It's not the right whine or cry of a normal dog. It was a hurting cry."
She thought the sound was coming from behind the neighbour's house across the road.
"But as I was going through the ditch, it made the noise again, and I turned and noticed it was coming from the culvert."
Skjersven went back home, got a flashlight and returned to the culvert.
"I knelt down under there and I looked and I saw two little eyes looking at me and he was stuck there ... he was squished in there."
Koda, a big tan dog in the neighbourhood, had disappeared about two weeks earlier.
Skjersven and her husband, Ivan, own a company that does water and sewer work. They went into town to get their backhoe, called the gas company to mark the gas line and used the bucket to skim away the dirt.
They recognized Koda, so Skjersven went to get the owner. They then all worked together with hand shovels to remove part of the culvert.
Finally, Koda's owner was able to pull her out.
"She was in rough shape, shedding, skinny as ever, not a bark or whine. She looked pretty pathetic, very thin," Skjersven recalled Monday night.
"She'd been missing for 13 days as of Sunday and it looked like she'd been in that culvert that long."
They wrapped the muddy, wet dog in blankets and offered food. About 10 minutes later, Koda was eating.
The dog is being cared for by a vet and is doing well, Skjersven said.
"I'm glad it turned out well. We were kind of worried it wasn't going to, but she's doing fine.
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