A jubilant Rebecca Brodeur holds onto her miniature
dachshund, Moka, and prepares to give a hug to West
Manatee Fire Rescue firefighter Greg Wigeri van Edema,
who pulled the tired pooch out of the drainpipe where
she had spent the night. A crowd of about 20 people
gathered to watch as a crew from LaPensee Plumbing
dug through the street to get to the tiny dog.
By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer
HOLMES BEACH Moka is a canine
Like her namesakes from the 1980s TV sitcom, she tries
to stay out of trouble, but it doesnt always work
out that way.
The 19-year-old miniature dachshund, who is deaf and can
only see shapes through her one good eye, became the center
of attention Monday when a bunch of people worked together
to save her life.
It all began Sunday night when Mokas owner, Rebecca
Brodeur, let her outside her home at 518 69th St., in
Holmes Beach, for her nightly constitutional.
She usually goes outside, does her business, makes
a U-turn and comes back in, Brodeur said. This
time, she didnt come back.
Brodeur said she left her doors open all night after a
frantic search of the neighborhood turned up nothing.
In the morning, my neighbor (Kelly Joseph) came
over when she saw my doors open and asked, Are you
missing your Moka? Brodeur said. I told
her she hadnt come home all night and she said she
thought she had heard some yipping from a storm drain.
Brodeur found that Moka was trapped inside the drain in
front of 522 69th St., the home of Jeff and Ilona Kenrick.
She called Manatee County Animal Control, Holmes Beach
Public Works and West Manatee Fire Rescue. When they all
determined they would need a different kind of expertise,
they called LaPensee Plumbing. Owner Mike LaPensee responded
and called his son, Greg, who responded with a crew.
I was at the Island Community Center checking up
on a job there when I got the call, Greg LaPensee
said. We brought in the backhoe and dug through
the asphalt. Then we dug by hand down the outside of the
pipe until we had access to it and cut through the side
of the pipe.
LaPensee said Mocha appeared to be in good shape when
firefighter Greg Wigeri van Edema pulled her out.
She had a hard time getting her footing after she
was rescued, LaPensee said, but she came out
in good shape.
West Manatee Fire Rescue Captain Tom Sousa said she might
have been a little thirsty. He also said the rescue drew
There was a big crowd there, Sousa said. They
really wanted us to get her out.
Brodeur agreed, saying she had a lot of people to thank.
There was Jeff, (Kenrick) who was there from the
start, the firefighters, the county animal people, the
citys public works department and, of course, LaPensee
Plumbing, she said. They didnt have
to bring out that backhoe, but they were concerned for
Like the TV sitcom, Moka the Golden Girl got a lot of
help from her friends.