Firefighters pluck dogs from bluff

"Pete and Bailey got themselves in a jam Thursday.The two mutts somehow got stuck on a steep bluff off Scenic Heights Road and had to be rescued by a cliff rescue team from Fire District 2 in the sizzling-hot afternoon.Owner Mary Mueller said she woke up in the morning to find that her two German shepherd-mix dogs had escaped from her house by pushing the screen out of the window.She said she searched for hours in the 80-degree weather, calling their names all over the neighborhood. Finally she was walking on the dogs' favorite beach, not far from Blower's Bluff, when she heard barking from above.There, about two-thirds the way up the steep 100-foot bluff, were the two naughty dogs. They were stuck in the bramble that grows on the bluff, unable to move up or down without risking falling. And since the dogs apparently didn't want to take the risk, they just sat and waited.I don't even know how they got there, Mueller said.After hearing about the stranded pooches, the resident at the top of the bluff called 911 and a half dozen or so firefighters from District 2 responded to save the pets. With help from the residents, Fire Chief Marv Koorn was able to locate the dogs from the top of the bluff, which was crumbling dangerously and covered with thick bramble.Koorn said the fire department used to have a policy against rescuing dogs. But he said the department found that someone else less qualified would attempt a dog rescue if they didn't, and inevitably that person would get hurt or have to be rescued.To save Mueller's rather plump dogs, a firefighter rapelled down the bluff to where the dogs were and brought them up one at a time.For their part, Pete and Bailey were remarkably calm about the whole rescue and had their tails a-wagging by the time they were safely at the top.Then they drank some water, sniffed around a little and went home."

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