It's a question every pet owner asks themselves at one point or other: How far would I go to save the life of my furry little friend? In the case of Steve Porter, an Australian whose closest companion was a four-year-old Jack Russell named Jessie (pictured), the answer is "pretty damn far."

On a rabbit-hunting expedition at the rocky Mt. Beckworth, Jessie tumbled through a crevice while chasing a feral cat. There he was, petrified and wedged between two boulders, 12 feet below. I pose the question again: What would you do?

Porter started by gathering a quartet of able-bodied young men, armed with crowbars and jacks, and going to work on the rocks. Their efforts were in vain. Then they called state emergency services, who could only move the smallest rocks.

Eventually, a machine was brought in from Melbourne that was up to the task of moving the massive, 30-tonne boulder (66,000 lbs.) that imprisoned Jessie. It took 100 hours of digging, some bitterly cold nights working until 1 am. The dog was kept alive on pieces of liver fed with a piece of wire. Eventually, the boulder budged, "millimeter by millimeter," until Jessie was finally freed and lifted to safety using a "dog-catching hoop." Porter was rewarded with a leap into his arms "and a big lick."

Total cost of this operation: A relative bargain at $2100. The feral cat thinks it wasn't worth it. [, screengrab via]