Sara Norris of San Marcos was camping at Thousand Trails in Pine Cove (near Idyllwild) on May 21 when her female golden retriever, Aslan, disappeared.
After searching for hours, Norris called the emergency line at Idyllwild’s Animal Rescue Friends (ARF) shelter. Responding was volunteer Robert Hewitt, a retired L.A. County Fire Department commander and an experienced animal tracker and rescuer.
Aslan was stuck between two large boulders in an area that Norris had walked around several times previously. Hewitt knew he would need some help, so he called in Cal Fire’s crew #23, stationed in Pine Cove.
According to the Idyllwild Town Crier newspaper, “Aslan was probably trapped for about four hours, but the extraction from his boulder jail took at least 90 minutes,” Hewitt reported. “A lot of things went right.”
Using hammers and chisels to chip away the rock, the crew slowly and carefully created a space large enough for Aslan to be freed. According to the Town Crier, Aslan was reportedly seen the next day walking around with her owner, but this time, on a leash.