For 3-year-old Toby, it was just another day of following his inner dog instincts. Chasing squirrels and running in his San Diego backyard are among the Shiba Inu dog's daily activities.
On Thursday though, those activities got his head stuck between two landscaping rocks that were part of his owner's backyard water fountain, authorities told ABC affiliate 10News.
Toby is now recovering at a local animal hospital.
"My wife called me and I came home from work. I couldn't believe it," owner Tim Ellis told 10news. "We started to disassemble our waterfall, and we put lube on him to try to get him loose."
Once Ellis realized there was no progress made, the Lakeside Fire Department and animal control officers were called to help.
"A vet tech came out and sedated him to calm him down. His neck was swollen from his efforts so he was stuck pretty tight," said Ellis. "This breed's head is shaped like an arrow, so it was wedged in there pretty good."
Toby is resting on a heating pad and was held for overnight observation.
"We are emotionally exhausted right now; we were so worried about him," said Ellis.