Man with flu saves dog that fell down a 50-foot deep hole

- If Sophie, a Border Collier dog could talk, it would have a great story to tell, as it survived a tumble down a 50-foot hole.

Sophie, who fell down the hole in Cave Creek, should be thankful that one man, with a special set of skills, just happened to be paying attention.

Paul Diefenderfer wasn't feeling well on Wednesday. Laid up with the flu, he passed the time on his phone on Facebook.

"This post popped up, and it said 911, my dog fell down a dry well," Paul recounted. "OK, I can handle this. I sent her a message saying, 'hey, I can do this'."

Paul knew that his experience as a mountain rescue team member in the 1970s made him the perfect choice to help.

"We sent some guys down to to the hardware store, and got about 50 feet of OVC pipe, and I made a 50-foot noose poll," said Paul.

Sophie reportedly got a little too nosey around a septic hole that was covered.

"The hole was moist," said Paul. "There was moisture down there. It probably smelled pretty good to a dog, and once she got underneath there, she just fell in."

Her curiosity took her 50-feet down.

"It took, I don't know, at least 20 minutes to finally get the rope over the dog's head and under her legs," said Paul.

Sophie was eventually rescued from the hole, with only a scratch, and it's a good feeling for Paul, who wasn't feeling at all that well.

"I just do what I do," said Paul. "I'm lucky that I have a certain set of skills that few people have."

The hone was 50 feet deep, and about 18 inches wide. A week ago, Sophie managed to move the one cinder block that was weighing down the plywood covering the hole. Now, there are six cinder blocks on it, just in case.

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