Nine lives are usually associated with cats, but a Jack Russell at Barnawartha North has proven it can also apply to dogs.
Michelle Hamilton's three-year-old pooch, Lil, has been known to test the boundaries.
In the lead-up to Christmas, she was rushed to the vet after a snake bite, but she managed to top that by getting herself stuck down a rabbit burrow for two days under the Chiltern Bowling Club last week.
To add an extra layer of stress to the family's worry, Lil is expecting pups later this year.
After a frantic search, a member at the bowls club heard a bark under the clubrooms, almost 48 hours after Lil had gone missing and contacted the Hamiltons.
With no way of reaching her, jackhammers were required to remove the concrete, and, after around four hours of shoveling, a massive rabbit was removed from the hole and Lil followed.
"She tends to fret if any of us are out of her sight, so I knew she had to have either been bitten by a snake, in a burrow or someone had stolen her. She was in a burrow alright," Mrs Hamilton said.
"That day we went out to the weir because my sister was up from Melbourne and we took her with us. She sat in the boat with us.
"My husband was bowling at Chiltern so we called in there on the way home. She'd jumped out of the car and I saw her go around the clubhouse, but I didn't think anything more of it.
"When it came time to leave she had vanished."
The search began immediately around the bowls club and wound up at 10pm after no success.
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But the Hamiltons were back in the early hours the next morning.
"My daughter Darcie came in sobbing and off we went in the car again at about 4am," Mrs Hamilton said.
"That afternoon we walked the railway line looking everywhere for her, we walked Chiltern.
"The car got bogged going down a back track as well.
"They're like your kids. I didn't want to think about it because I should have left her in the car."
Her husband, Allan, is a concreter and will fix the area where the jackhammer was used.
Mrs Hamilton said Lil has had a history of exploring.
"We live out on a farm and I've lost five or six collars with her name on it down in holes because she's always out there hunting," she said.
"I reckon another day down there and she wouldn't have survived because she couldn't back out.
"Even a really long shovel wouldn't reach her, that's how far down she was.
"I think this will teach her a lesson because it has given her a bit of fright. Hopefully she won't do it again but the kids have said I'm never to take her to Chiltern again."
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