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Chester’s bad day: “Tough as nails” dog with nose for trouble doing fine following rescue


       Wayside Animal Hospital / Photo

Poor Chester - The 11-year-old dog that got his head stuck in a dryer vent is pictured with Animal Care Assistant Elizabeth Collins. Collins works with Wayside Animal Clinic through the Work Based Learning Program at Pickens High School. 


Chester, an 11-year-old terrier mix owned by a local family, had a really bad day last week when he got his head stuck in a dryer vent.

“It was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen in my entire career,” said Dr. Lyn Lewis, owner of Wayside Animal Clinic. Dr. Lewis has been practicing for 18 years. 

According to the veterinarian, Chester’s owners called Wayside seeking help when their dog became stuck. “I didn’t know what to expect when they arrived because they’d said his head was stuck in a pipe.”

“When he arrived it was a 90 degree angle dryer vent and the dog’s head was starting to swell,” Lewis said. “They had tried to get it out by putting soap on it and the way it was folded it wound up being like a Chinese finger torture device - the harder you push, the worse it made it.”

Dr. Lewis said the poor pup was frantic and he worried sedating him would impair his airflow. Working quickly, Dr. Lewis said it took about a half hour to cut him loose. 

“I was afraid I would cut off his ears because I couldn’t tell where they were. I didn’t know if they were flopped over to the side or straight up in the vent.”

But Chester wasn’t out of the woods completely, Dr. Lewis said. “The really sad thing is the owners had about five other dogs and when Chester got stuck, he started acting frantic and weird and the other dogs attacked him, adding insult to injury,” Dr. Lewis said. Chester had about 50 bite wounds, most of them superficial. “I put a few stitches in the bigger wounds.”

Chester’s owner, Susan Smith, said on Tuesday morning that the 25 pound dog is now “doing great.”

“He is tough as nails,” Smith said. “He has spent his life getting into as much trouble as he possibly can. I swear he would do it again.”

Smith said Chester was more excited about the car ride to the vet than he was concerned about what was happening to him.

“He is really very sweet and adorable,” Smith said of Chester. “It was a scary thing and looking back on it now that he’s fine you can say, ‘yeah that’s just Chester.”