When Karen de Rosa’s beloved Cocker Spaniel, named Jazz, went missing during a hunt on a Scottish Moor, she naturally feared for the dog’s life. And with no sign of Jazz anywhere on the wild moorland, it was a race against time to get her back home and safe.
De Rosa had traveled to the wild heather-clad moor of the Invermark Estate to allow the dog to work on the sprawling Angus property. In fact, Jazz had been helping to pick up grouse hens during the hunt when she disappeared from view – and didn’t resurface.
Immediately, the caring owner’s mind began whirring in panic. After all, how would she ever find Jazz on such a forbidding landscape? Indeed, looking around the never-ending countryside, it probably felt like locating her curious pooch was going to be an impossible task.
But with the help of the estate’s gamekeepers, de Rosa began a thorough search of the land. Worryingly, though, the search team came back empty handed after their first rigorous sweep. It seemed that there was no sign of Jazz anywhere.
Refusing to give up just yet, however, the team decided to embark on a second search. And as the Head Gamekeeper and member of Angus Glens Moorland Group Garry MacLennan trooped over to where Jazz has last been spotted, he proved that he had the sharpest ears in the group.
Somehow, among all the commotion, MacLennan heard the sound of faint panting. So, carefully following the noise, he soon realized that it was coming from underground.
In fact, the dog’s panting was coming from deep in the Scottish mud in a small underground chamber, called a pipe hole, that is meant to help drain water from the peat. Naturally, the team got to work digging straight away to rescue the stuck pup.
After a while, the hole was big enough for someone to get down – sort of. In order to reach Jazz, gamekeeper Johnny Stevenson dove into the marshy, muddy mess headfirst, his legs kicking in the air as he went.
Fortunately, after a few nervous moments, Stevenson managed to drag lucky Jazz back onto solid ground. She looked like a swamp thing completely covered in mud, but she was unharmed and surprisingly warm.
Once reunited with Jazz, de Rosa couldn’t hide her relief. In fact, she called Jazz’s rescue team her “heroes.” As for Jazz, she too was excited to see everyone but otherwise seemed to take the whole situation in her stride.
“I couldn’t thank the Invermark heroes enough for saving Jazz and everyone on the shoot who took the time to search. What an awesome team,” de Rosa said following the dramatic rescue efforts. Her shock and relief was almost palpable.
Speaking of Jazz’s condition, de Rosa said she was in good spirits despite her ordeal. “She actually came out toastie warm and happy as punch. Surprisingly,” she said.
“I thought she’d be freezing and in shock. [I] think the mud pack kept her warm,” de Rosa further revealed. She also admitted that she and Jazz were “one lucky little dog and owner” to have been able to be reunited.
Jazz’s mud-diving rescuer, Stevenson, said he was just happy to help. Still, speaking of the moment he retrieved the pooch from the pipe hole, Stevenson admitted that it was the messiest rescue he had ever done.
“It’s never a nice feeling when a dog goes missing,” he said. “Karen had resigned herself to her dog being lost due to the length of time she was missing, so once she was located it was a massive relief to everyone.”
“Our head keeper stopped the shoot to look for her and managed to locate her down a pipe hole, which is an under ground peat chamber that lets the water run, by listening for her breathing,” Stevenson confirmed. If it wasn’t for the whole team, though, de Rosa might never have seen Jazz again.
“After digging about six feet of wet peat we broke through and pulled the dog out. It was very happy to see us,” Stevenson revealed. Fortunately, Jazz and de Rosa are now back to normal following the dramatic turn of events.
Meanwhile, the members of the Angus Glens Moorland Group who helped, now known as the “Invermark heroes,” have become local celebrities thanks to their selfless efforts. In fact, after posting a series of pictures documenting the rescue on Facebook, it’s not just de Rosa who’s been singing their praises.
And, thankfully, the incident doesn’t seemed to have put Jazz off of wandering the idyllic Scottish moors. A few days after the hunt, for instance, Angus Glens Moorland Group posted an update on the doggy’s behalf.
Jazz looked proud and content as she posed beside a loch and some rolling hills. “I would just like to thank everyone for all their kind messages,” the Facebook page read. “I’m so grateful to the boys for finding me and reuniting me with my owner and my working family! I can’t thank them enough. I had my first day back at work today and enjoyed every minute! Love, Jazz.”