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Desperate cry leads rescuers to cold puppy

Tiny CuJo survives six very cold nights stuck in ravine's blackberry bushes
by: Submitted, Firefighter Dick Griffin climbs out of a 30-foot ravine in which CuJo, a 9-pound shih tzu puppy, was stuck for six days. CuJo had been lost and feared dead during last week's cold snap.

Studying for final exams was interrupted for 15-year-old Olivia Marshall of Lake Oswego last week, by what she recognized as 'the desperate cry of an animal,' and more specifically, a whimpering puppy.

She could track the sound to the blackberry bramble in the 30-foot deep ravine in her backyard, but could not see the animal in the dark. No amount of encouragement or coaxing could bring the puppy out of the brambles, so the teen and her mother Linda Marshall, called the Lake Oswego police for assistance.

Animal Control officer Julia Warren was not able to coax the animal to safety either; in fact the dog had quit crying. The three women had to leave the animal in the bramble, hoping for the best against predators and what would surely be a cold night outdoors.

The following day, Olivia shared the tale with her carpool. As luck would have it, one of them had heard that a neighbor had lost a puppy six days earlier. Olivia made contact with the neighbor, Debbie Selby, who presumed the dog was indeed her missing shih tzu, CuJo.

Selby hurried to the Marshall's backyard and began calling for CuJo, who barked back incessantly.

'It's a miracle,' Selby said when she saw the dog in the brambles. She had assumed CuJo had died during his ordeal outdoors in the cold weather.

The women called the police department once again and dispatchers then called out the Lake Oswego Fire Department to help in the rescue.

The fire crew placed a ladder down into the ravine and firefighter Dick Griffin slid down to find 9-pound CuJo's tail stuck in the blackberry bush. The puppy and owner were cheerfully reunited, as witnessed by a wagging tail.

'Dick Griffin saved the day for the little puppy and we are all grateful,' Olivia said.