At around sunset I'm out trail running with her, going up about 2.7 miles and 2000' to a local peak. About a mile and a half into the run she's up ahead of me about 20', off leash. She's still young, so I'm letting her off sparingly, making sure she stops when I call her, which she's doing fine.
So I call her back. She stops in place, waiting for me to get to her. I start to praise her for waiting and she gets excited, turning to come to me.
In the process of turning around she doesn't realize how close she is to the edge of a huge drop; we're at least 600' above the canyon floor at this point.
Her back legs slip off the edge when she turns around, she's scrambling to get traction, and I can't grab her fast enough. Over the edge she goes.
I watched her free fall about 10-15 feet, hit a dirt slope on her back, and then begin cartwheeling another 15-20 feet down or so through rocks and scree, coming to rest in some shrubs before another drop. I'm certain she broke her back. Strangely, she never made a sound.
She's conscious and alert looking when she stops. Problem is, I'm not sure if I can climb down to get her...or get back up if I do. I'm pretty glad I'm a rock climber and OK with heights at this point, otherwise she's have been stuck. I eventually found a different way to down climb to her. She actually looked fine. I checked her over, squeezing legs, ribs, belly, etc., seeing if she seemed broken.
I was able to climb back up, placing her on a ledge/slope above my head or on my shoulder, climbing, pushing her up again, until we were back on the trail.
Now she's standing there on the trail, wagging her tail, looking like an excited and scared pup. I checked her over again and sat for a bit...
Somehow she's 100% fine. I honestly think her size/light weight saved her; she's a mini pinscher, about 7 pounds right now. I can't imagine a big dog could've landed on it's back from that high and made it. I was near certain that she'd disappear down the cliff and out of site...When I saw her finally stop, I was certain she'd be dead or I'd be putting her down at the vet with a broken back...
She still wanted to run the rest of the way home. A few hours later, she's sleeping by the heater, acting perfectly fine.
Now that she's fine, I'm bummed I only got a 3 mile run in...should've taken her to the top instead of turning back after the fall :)