A few people have asked and I believe it is a bit of cool history that belongs on this page so.....
On this particular trip to the silo my accomplaces were Col. Tom and Filsound. We arrived at the parking lot about 10:30pm one week night and proceeded to gear up and start the hike across the field, got to the entrance and headed in. In the past we have found a dead cat, a dead skunk, and a dead racoon right inside the entrance to the left in the ventilation room. They had all fallen through a grate on the surface to their death. But none of us has ever run into anything or anyone inside while we've been there. So you might imagine my heart jumped a little as we entered the main power dome and I saw something run across the lower level and dissappear in the shadows. After calling out to see if it was a person and getting no answer, we headed down the stairway to the next level. Over on the other side of the room we saw her. Scared shitless, foam comming out of her mouth and extremely skinny was a dog! Now I'm an animal person and most animals get along with me real well, but she was incredibly scared. I could get to within ten feet of her and she would take off running. There is so much old machineary and sharp stuff down there I was afraid she would impale herself. After a couple of tries, I thought it might be best if I left her alone. We went on our merry way to explore the silo. After climbing out and hitting the surface some three hours later, I couldn't help but think of what it would be like to die alone in the dark with no way out. I had to go back and get her, there was no other choice to be made. Luckily, we had picked up a bag of .39 cent cheeseburgers from McDonalds on our way out and had two left in the bag. Col. Tom and Filsound came along to hold flashlights, I grabbed the two cheeseburgers and we headed back in. by the time we got to the lower level of the power dome she had fallen down in the tunnel system that goes under all the machineary. This whole tunnel is full of about 1 to 2 ft. of really sticky gooey mud. She was starting to get caked with mud so much that she had a hard time moving but still managed to run back under the tunnel as I eased myself down into the mud. I sat down in this goo all the time telling her what a good dog she was. I started coaxing her with little bites of cheeseburger. She would scoot out just far enough to take it off my hand and then back up under the tunnel. She finally stopped backing up and I was able to start petting her on the head a little at a time. During this whole ordeal she was growling at me like she was going to lunge for my throat at any minute, but she liked that cheeseburger, she was very hungry. This whole sitting in the mud coaxing episode took about two hours with my cohorts patiently hold the flashlights on me and the dog. I finally ran out of cheeseburger and it was time to get her out. I reached my arms around her and she started growling and showing her teeth. My face was about four inches from hers. I looked her in the eyes and told her not to bite me, I was going to get her out of there. I know this sounds corny but she knew what I was doing. She stopped growling and completely relaxed. Just went limp. I think she was exhausted. I picked her up, scraped off most of the mud and put her up on my shoulders. We got back to the surface and I put her down and she collapsed. She looked at me and gave me a wag of her tail but didn't have the strength to get up. We carried her to the car and checked her dog tags. Her tags said her name was Nellie and had a phone number. We went down to a bar side phone booth off the main highway and called the number. Keep in mind it's about 3:30 in the morning. A lady answered and when I asked if she owned a dog named Nellie she asked me if this was some kind of sick joke. She said her dog had been missing for two weeks and was presumed dead.
I explained we had found her and asked if she could come down and meet us to pick up her dog. She almost hung up on me thinking it was all a bad prank. About fifteen minutes later a big pick up pulled up. They guy driving had a shotgun and the other guy with them had a baseball bat. They really thought we were pulling some joke on them and were ready to kick some ass. The girl got out of the truck saw Nellie and broke down crying. We explained we found her down in a missile silo just down the block from where they lived. They looked at us in complete puzzlement, "Missile Silo? What's that?" They had no idea what we were talking about. The girl tried to give me a hundred bucks and I told her to take it and spend on her dog. Buy her some steak for a week or two. I told her Nellie had been through a lot, take her home love her up and feed her real good. We drove off with the three of them standing in the parking lot in total disbelief. That was one of the best nights of my life. If I hadn't gone back to get her I would have never forgiven myself, I would still be living with the guilt. I can only hope Nellie got to live a few years longer and chase a few more bunny rabbits during her time on this planet.
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