Firefighters rescue dog trapped between 2 boulders

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AURORA, Colo. -- Over the holiday weekend, the Cunningham Fire Protection District, which covers parts of Centennial and unincorporated Arapahoe County, responded to about 90 emergency calls. But none compared to the one they responded to at Cherry Creek State Park.

The call came in shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday. A dog somehow got its left paw wedged between two 2,000-pound boulders. His owner was frantic.

“We went swimming,” said Dan Santiago, the dog’s owner. “And all of a sudden his left paw slipped in between these two boulders and I heard a yelp and I never heard that before.”

The dog, Buddy, found his left paw wedged between the boulders. Santiago and others tried freeing him the best they could, but had no luck. Someone called 911 and the Cunningham Fire Protection District quickly responded.

“Multiple attempts were made to remove the boulders with pry bars. They were unsuccessful with that,” said Dave Mueller, the station’s battalion chief. “We ended up having to use the hydraulic spreaders, otherwise known as the Jaws of Life.”

The Jaws of Life did the trick, and moments later, Buddy was free.

“There’s a special place in my heart,” Santiago said of the firefighters who helped rescue his dog.

Buddy suffered no broken bones, just a laceration to his leg, which is wrapped in a cast but it should be able to come off in 12 days.

“It was a feel-good call for the guys, especially during the Independence weekend,” Mueller said.

On Tuesday, Buddy was running around with a big smile on his face, as happy as can be. It was also the dog's first birthday.