Some might say it was a pipe dream. But it was definitely more of a nightmare for two-year-old stray dog Smokey.
The hapless young dog found himself with his head firmly stuck inside the long tube of an old smudge pot.
Animal rescuers believe that he had been chasing a mouse when the pesky rodent led him straight into an abandoned device.
The oil-burning tools are use to remove frost from crops on fruit trees but Smokey was left with a bitter taste in his mouth from the rusty pot.
He whimpered as he tried desperately to wriggle free himself from the pot but without luck, remaining with his head inside like a headless dog.
Thankfully a passer-by spotted the trapped animal and called animal rescuers to the scene in Riverside County, California, last Friday.
Smokey emerged unscathed from the pot with the help of Animal Control Officer Amy Farrell who gently eased him out.
But the black soot on his face on his face from the inside of the pot meant that she gave him the cute nickname, Smokey.
Officer Farrell said she thought the dog ended up stuck in such a sad predicament because 'he probably just chased a mouse or other critter into the canister.'
Smokey appeared slightly under-weight but in otherwise good spirits. Though he may think twice the next time he chases a mouse towards an old pot.
He had a collar but no micro-chip which meant that officers could not trace the owner. Smokey was taken to the Jacinto Valley Animal Shelter where he is now being cared for by the staff.
John Welsh, public information officer for the Riverside County Animal Services, said the dog seemed slightly underweight but is otherwise very friendly and playful.
He also walks very well on a leash, Welsh said.