Mark Riley, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Billings, MT

This article appears how it was featured in The Plumber’s Almanac, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing’s monthly newsletter.

Mark Riley has fielded his share of calls for prized possessions that have fallen down the drain.

Special items like rings, or gold teeth, which one customer accidentally flushed down the toilet.

But earlier this month, the owner of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Billings got a call that was a first for him in more than 20 years of being a plumber.

A long-haired dachshund was trapped in a drain pipe.

“You hate to lose an expensive possession,” Mark says. “But when it comes to a living animal, it’s a whole different ball game.”

Mocha, the dachshund, spotted a rabbit and darted after it into the pipe – and promptly got stuck. (While most dachshunds are svelte, Mark says, Mocha was a bit on the plump side.)

“A friend of mine called me and told me there was a dog stuck in a storm sewer culvert, and he knew I had a camera,” Mark says. “So I grabbed my camera and ran up there.”

Sure enough, he saw the pup trapped underground and called on an excavator friend whom he’s used for sewer replacements.

“He came out really quickly, dug down and cut it open and got the dog out,” Mark says.

The rescue took about four hours. Mocha was whimpering, but the owner, June Brewer, was talking to her to try to keep her calm.

“Once I knew where the dog was at, it was like easy peasy lemon squeezy. My only concern was injury,” Mark says. “I was so relieved. The owner couldn’t thank us enough. There were a lot of tears shed.”

"It was very emotional," June told local news station KRTV. "I was so appreciative of those guys. I mean they could have just dug down there and not worried. But he was so careful. If they were to hit that pipe, she might not be here today. She means a lot to me."

Local newspaper the Ravalli Republic also covered the story. Check out the video of the rescue on Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Billings’ Facebook page!