JUNEAU (AP) -- Trecie, an 8-month-old malamute puppy, is back home after spending more than three days trapped in a chute deep in the city's only open-pit mine.
Trecie's owners said the puppy fled the family's home July 3 because it panicked after hearing the sound of firecrackers being set off on Sandy Beach. She ran up the Treadwell Historic Mine Trail, a hiking path above Sandy Beach that leads to the Glory Hole.
Richard Fraser and his wife, Londi, searched for several hours Thursday morning but could not find the puppy. They put up fliers describing her throughout the Douglas community.
An acquaintance visited on Saturday and said he'd heard a dog howling from the Glory Hole and thought it might be Trecie.
''We all went up there,'' Fraser said. ''I spent pretty much all Saturday walking around the Glory Hole, three or four times around. I never really heard her crying.''
They returned Sunday morning for another look, but found nothing. However, that afternoon Fraser heard a distant howling.
''I said, 'That's Trecie. That's got to be Trecie.'''
After another search revealed no sign of the dog, Fraser decided he and two friends should climb into the Glory Hole to continue looking. Using ropes, they scaled down the steep cliff, calling Trecie's name, but received no response.
Despite the setback, they were determined to keep looking, said Londi Fraser.
''None of us could sleep,'' Londi said. ''We decided even if it wasn't her, we were still going to rescue whoever's poor dog was up there.''
On Sunday afternoon, they again heard Trecie's cries. Fraser followed the sound without calling out in response, moving toward the waterfall that cuts through the Glory Hole.
''I could hear every once in a while,'' he said. ''I got up to the top ... looked down, and by golly, there's old Trecie.''
The 70-pound puppy was trapped in what Fraser guessed was an old avalanche chute 150 feet below the Glory Hole's rim. The slate chute, about 2 feet around, offered no water and little room to move.
Fraser and his wife, with the help of a friend, harnessed the dog and raised her out of the chute.
Except for dehydration, the puppy was doing pretty well, Fraser said.
''Right now she's under my daughter's bed, sleeping,'' he said.
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