NORTH YARMOUTH — The day before his last class at Greely High School, Gerrick Lovenstein jumped down a well to save his dog and had to be rescued himself by emergency responders.
The incident took place about 250 feet from the Lovenstein family’s 253 Greely Road house. It began Monday around 6 p.m. when their 3-year-old beagle, Daisy, followed their Pomeranian in pursuit of a chipmunk. The dog lept onto rotted pieces of wood covering the unused well, broke through and plunged into the cold water below.
Lovenstein’s father, Kevin, saw the incident and alerted his wife, Eileen. Lovenstein, 18, then ran from the house to lend a hand.
Eileen on Tuesday said her son held his father’s legs from outside the well as Kevin extended a rake down to the dog to hold her up, but the elder Lovenstein could not reach far enough.
Seeing Daisy go under, Lovenstein then jumped in after her. He cut his knees and bruised his tailbone, and the dog scratched his chest, but her son held on to the pet, Eileen said.
The well is about 18 feet deep, she said, and Gerrick was able to remain at about chest level in the water.
“When he hopped in and got a hold of the dog he was able to put his foot on a pipe,” Eileen said, adding that beforehand, “our dog was definitely drowning, and we couldn’t get anything in there to reach her.”
She called 911 while her son and husband were at the well.
“The rescuers were awesome,” Eileen said. “They sent someone down in there to get them both out.”
Emergency responders came from North Yarmouth and Cumberland.
North Yarmouth Fire Chief Clark Baston said the well is a tight space.
“By the time you put a ladder down in there to get him out, it pretty much fills it up,” he said, adding that Lovenstein could have scaled the ladder by himself, but holding onto Daisy made it difficult.
“If the dog could climb up the ladder, it would’ve been easy,” Baston said. “We basically had to rescue the dog before we could rescue him.”
After about 40 minutes in the well, Lovenstein was transported to Mercy Hospital in Portland and released Monday night.
He graduates from high school next Sunday, and was reluctant to talk about what happened Monday.
“I’m excited for him, and definitely proud of him,” his mother said. “He’s definitely my hero.”
Eileen said Lovenstein will attend Southern Maine Community College, where he won’t be too far from the dog he saved.
“I couldn’t imagine life without Daisy, that’s for sure,” Eileen said. “She’s the sweetest dog in the world.”
Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.