Story last updated at 7/2/2014 - 2:56 pm
Editor's note: This story was originally published on Tuesday, July 9, 2002. This Fourth of July, please make sure dogs are in a safe, secure location with plenty of water and food, as well as a comfy place to rest.
After spending more than three days trapped in a rock chute deep in the Glory Hole on Douglas, the Fraser family's dog has come home.
"Right now she's under my daughter's bed, sleeping," said Richard Fraser, a local contractor, on Monday. "(She's) not feeling real confident, but she'll come around."
Trecie, a full-blooded malamute, fled the family's Douglas home on July 3. The sound of firecrackers being set off on Sandy Beach panicked the 8-month-old dog, Fraser said.
Trecie ran up the Treadwell Historic Mine Trail, a hiking path above Sandy Beach. The trail leads to the Glory Hole, which was once Juneau's only open-pit mine.
Fraser and his wife, Londi, searched for several hours Thursday morning, but found nothing. They put up fliers describing Trecie throughout Douglas, and on Saturday received a visit from an acquaintance on Sixth Street. 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 ... I came home Saturday night thinking, 'Ohmigosh, she's going to be gone.'"
They returned Sunday morning for another look, but found nothing. However, that afternoon Fraser heard a distant howling.
"I know my dog's howl because I lived with it when she was a puppy," Fraser said. "I said, 'That's Trecie. That's got to be Trecie.'"
After another search revealed no sign of the dog, Fraser decided he and friends Hans Baertle, who is an experienced climber, and Jack Gitchell 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, Londi Fraser said.
"None of us could sleep," Londi said. "We were just totally, ridiculously consumed by trying to get her out of there. We decided even if it wasn't her, we were still going to rescue whoever's poor dog was up there."
At 2 p.m. Sunday, they headed up to Sixth Street and 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 quickly climbed down with a rope and waited with Trecie while Londi went to a neighbor's house and called Baertle, who arrived about 45 minutes later. Together, the group harnessed the dog and raised her out of the chute.
Except for dehydration, Trecie seemed relatively healthy, Fraser said. The family still isn't sure how she fell into the chute.
"I would have loved to know," Fraser said with a laugh. "I wish she could tell us."