“He never left his friend’s side. He waited next to the sewage pipe the whole time, waiting for his friend to come back.”This is what Pietermaritzburg SPCA inspector Thobile Gumede told The Witness on Wednesday after a dramatic, hour-long rescue of a brown dog that had fallen down a nine-metre deep sewage pipe on Wednesday morning. An anxious black dog had waited patiently at the top of the hole to be reunited with it. The Pietermaritzburg SPCA received a call from the Pick n Pay bottle store in Victoria Road on Wednesday morning saying a customer had told them about a dog trapped down a deep hole at the corner of Peter Kerchhoff Street and Victoria Road on Wednesday morning.When inspectors Gumede and Scelo Zuma arrived, they were directed towards the railway tracks under the Peter Kerchhoff Street bridge.After walking a few hundred metres through thick bush, the two found the black dog waiting anxiously next to the nine-metre-deep hole.“He was very friendly with us but we could also see he was very distressed because his furry best friend had fallen into the hole,” said Gumede.“He would not leave his friend. He waited there and we had to put him into the back of the SPCA van so he would not upset the rescue,” she said.Gumede said it was unclear how long the dog had been in the hole but that the hole was “very deep and dark” and “not even the Msunduzi firefighters’ ladder could reach the bottom”.“The dog was not crying, but his friend was very worried,” she said.“You could tell he just wanted to see his friend again.”(From left) Pietermaritzburg SPCA’s Thobile Gumede jumps over the fence while Scelo Zuma helps Msunduzi firemen put the nervous dog into the SPCA vehicle. Gumede said the SPCA had to wait for the fire department to arrive with their equipment before they could attempt the rescue.When The Witness arrived, the SPCA and the fire department had already rescued the dog from the hole and were carrying the exhausted pooch up to the SPCA van.It took two firemen and Zuma to carry the dog up from the lines and lift him over the rails of the bridge. The dog was dehydrated and “completely exhausted”.Gumede and Zuma then carefully opened the back door of the van to lift the dog inside and reunite him with his friend.With damp and matted fur, the dog plopped down in the van, back legs sprawled out behind him as his friend smothered his face in licks, while wagging his tail excitedly.“You can see they are best friends. He waited and made sure the brown dog, his friend, was okay,” said Gumede.She said the dog was not injured and that both dogs had been bathed and dipped, and were sitting comfortably together at a kennel at the premises.Pietermaritzburg SPCA manager Ronnie Yeoman said it appeared that the dogs knew each other and probably came from the same home.Yeoman said the canines looked healthy and are in a good condition, and encouraged their owners to come and fetch them.She said they would be doing an inspection of the owner’s home before they are returned to the owner.