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Community Employee Spotlight August 23, 2021

Honest Abe, we’re happy you’re safe

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Honest Abe, we’re happy you’re safe

Abe had been missing for nearly two weeks. Abe’s owner, Peggy Gilbert, was giving up hope that her 15-year-old Australian cattle dog would return home. The family had recently moved into the neighborhood, and Abe was deaf, nearly blind and had a limp due to bad hips.

Thanks to a pair of PUD linemen, Abe was not only found, but he was alive. After Line Foremen Ray Snider and Journeyman Lineman Steve Ingrum stumbled upon the old dog trapped at the bottom of a hole, Abe was reunited with Peggy last week at her home in Arlington.

“When I opened up the back of the truck, she took a look at the dog and yelled ‘Abe!’ and burst into tears,” said Val Copeland, Police Support Officer for the City of Arlington. “One more very happy customer with a fabulous team effort.”

Finding Abe was a definite team effort. Ray and Steve were scouting a pole replacement job deep in the brush off of 67th Ave. in Arlington. After walking down a steep bank and through some woods, the linemen came upon a hole in a small clearing. At the bottom of the hole sat Abe.

Ray and Steve put a ladder into the hole and climbed down to deliver some water to the dog, who appeared old and weak. They called the Arlington Police and reported their find. After responding to the scene, the police called the fire department, and firefighter Al Chamberlin climbed into the hole and carried Abe out.

Copeland then checked for any identification on the dog, including an ID chip. She found none. Preparing to take the dog to the shelter, Copeland received a call from Police volunteer Kim Casteel. Doing some research on social media, Kim had discovered a post from an Arlington woman who had a missing dog.

Copeland called the person who eventually turned out to be Gilbert and described the dog. Gilbert was flabbergasted Abe was alive. An hour later they were reunited.

“Thank you to everyone who was looking out for my old dog,” wrote Gilbert on Facebook. “He’s home, 12 days missing … He’s very confused right now and very tired. Again, I can’t express how grateful I am to the people who found him and got him out of that pit.”

The rescue of Abe is a great example of never knowing what you’re going to find on the job, which for linemen can be in some out-of-the-way areas. It’s safe to say that if PUD linemen hadn’t ventured back into that remote area, Abe would have never been found. The pole the crew was going to replace hadn’t been checked in years and was just up for replacement during a scheduled maintenance check.

A PUD crew returned the next day to fill in the hole to prevent another animal from falling in. Great job ,Ray and Steve!