A Johnson County dog picked just about the worst place at the worst time to have her litter of puppies - in a storm drain with a storm approaching.
A black German Shepherd, named Baby, gave birth to a litter of eight puppies Tuesday morning, according to her owner Wendy Strickland.
But Baby had her babies in a pipe across the street from her home, in the 1600 block of County Road 607, just outside of Alvarado.
"It was awful," Strickland said of the all-day ordeal.
Strickland and other family members tried and failed to coax the mother and her puppies out of the pipe during the 100 degree heat of the day. And with an approaching evening storm, they reached out to friends and neighbors for help.
A relative posted a message on Facebook asking for assistance to free the animals. Within a matter of minutes the word had spread, according to Strickland.
"Lots of rescue people showed up, Strickland told NBC 5. "We're very thankful for that from everywhere, from Cleburne, Alvarado, Joshua; family, friends, neighbors - they were all here helping. They were coming left and right, people calling for directions. I was amazed. It was really awesome."
With the rain beginning to fall steadily, the rescuers' concern turned to the dirt that was clogging the opposite side of the drainage pipe, Strickland said. They feared that the water would back up and drown the dogs.
In addition to digging out the dirt, one volunteer made a failed attempt to dig a hole above the pipe.
According to Strickland, a Johnson County sheriff's deputy who responded to the scene advised the rescuers not to damage the property.
Strickland said that a relative used tape to strap a net to the end of a long pole and was successful at pulling out two of the puppies. To get the others, Strickland's nephew and two other young men crawled into the pipe to pull the dogs out.
"He was awesome," Strickland said. "He was here all day long with me. And I don't even know how to thank him."
Baby and her new puppies are now resting comfortably in a kennel beside the Strickland home.