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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
So my dog fell off a cliff tonight... on 03/25/2011 21:45:59 MDT Print View

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 :)

Edited by xnomanx on 03/25/2011 21:48:08 MDT.

Jennifer McFarlane
(JennyMcFarlane) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Crazy pup! on 03/25/2011 21:55:06 MDT Print View

Wow Craig- she sure got lucky! Where were you running? (We are in Pasadena too- just curious which trail)

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: So my dog fell off a cliff tonight... on 03/25/2011 21:55:38 MDT Print View

Very lucky young girl there. I watched my 65lb Greyhound mix get hit by a truck a couple of months ago. Folded him in half. Got a scraped up chin and a gouge in the tail. All else was fine. I agree that the weight thing is in their favor. Thats why it didn't hurt when we took bad falls as kids compared to being full grown. She'll be sore in the morning. Keep an eye on her discharges, appetite. Count your blessings.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
"So my dog fell off a cliff tonight..." on 03/25/2011 21:57:18 MDT Print View

Lucky dog to have you as a buddy...Sounds like an adventure with a happy ending.

Levon Jensen
(LevonJensen) - MLife

Locale: Canadian Rockies
lucky dog on 03/25/2011 22:01:03 MDT Print View

Ive had mine try a few times caught her once, they are not the smartest around Edges and drops. i now steer clear of cliffs.

good thing shes ok!

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: So my dog fell off a cliff tonight... on 03/25/2011 22:02:04 MDT Print View

I was running to Echo Mtn. She fell off the steepest ravine/dry waterfall about 1/4 mile past the electrical towers.

Yeah ken, I'll be watching her. I'm no vet but I was an EMT...I was concerned about checking her urine/stool and a concussion. But she's totally alert and acting fine so far...she's already scoured the house for crumbs and tried to chase the cat about ten times.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: So my dog fell off a cliff tonight... on 03/25/2011 22:06:42 MDT Print View

"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......................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."

Craig:

What a relief!! You know, I believe I actually held my breath while reading the paragraphs in between those two sentences!

Edited by ben2world on 03/25/2011 22:40:54 MDT.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"So my dog fell off a cliff tonight..." on 03/25/2011 22:22:54 MDT Print View

Best thread title ever.

Your pup is tenacious, what a champ! Will she be ready for your upcoming 50K? I think she's being groomed to be an excellent pacer.

I'm glad to hear you're both well and back at home with your family.

So, relatively, in miniature pinscher miles was that like a 6 mile run with 4,000ft. of elevation gain? Impressive pup.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
So my dog fell off a cliff tonight on 03/25/2011 23:00:54 MDT Print View

I bet she's cured of getting close to edges.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: So my dog fell off a cliff tonight on 03/25/2011 23:23:14 MDT Print View

Wow.

I'm just thankful that she's ok. Hopefully the next few days/weeks prove to show a clean bill of health!

Kendall Clement
(socalpacker) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
RE: RE: RE: "So my dog fell off a cliff tonight..." on 03/25/2011 23:49:50 MDT Print View

Craig,
That is an amazing miracle! Thank God she's okay. It is true that when they're young you can pretty much drop 'em off a cliff and they get up and walk away... Of course, I'm exaggerating. Truth be told your account nearly gave me a heart attack. Glad she's alright.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: RE: RE: RE: "So my dog fell off a cliff tonight..." on 03/25/2011 23:55:08 MDT Print View

I wonder if the fact that she was a young pup, with more forgiving bones and joints, had anything to do with her success. Regardless of weight, I doubt a 12-year-old dog would have fared the same.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
So my dog fell off a cliff tonight... on 03/26/2011 00:05:46 MDT Print View

Glad to hear things turned ok. It seems like every year, we hear about dogs taking falls in the Columbia Gorge, where there are so many cliff-side trails, especially the Eagle Creek trail where so many people hike from Portland.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Minpin on 03/26/2011 00:09:18 MDT Print View

Craig, I'm sincerely very happy that your dog wasn't seriously hurt. But I'm curious as to what you think the lesson learned is here?

Ryan Krause
(rmkrause)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Happy to hear everything turned out alright on 03/26/2011 00:09:23 MDT Print View

Happy to hear everything turned out alright.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
glad your dog is okay on 03/26/2011 10:57:26 MDT Print View

Craig,
I am glad your dog is okay I would still take her to the veterinarian to have her checked out. A great story you can tell your buddies.

Terry

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: So my dog fell off a cliff tonight... on 03/26/2011 13:11:03 MDT Print View

I can imagine watching your dog go over and running up to the edge to see what happened. Glad she's okay!

In my avatar, you can see my Aussie Shepherd and notice the boards are a little wet. I had him on leash all the way to the lake and I let him off as there was no one else there. He celebrated a bit by running back and forth on the boardwalk, which is also the bridge over the outlet for the lake. It was February, and the snowfall had receded, but the lake was still mostly iced over, so that water was close to freezing. He went running along, slipped and fell in. Luckily, he didn't get trapped under the boardwalk and there were logs perpendicular to the bridge, so he was able to climb out and shake himself off. We think of dogs being "four wheel drive," but they do slip and fall.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: So my dog fell off a cliff tonight... on 03/26/2011 13:49:28 MDT Print View

Craig, wow! Glad she is ok man. I agree with Terry, please take her to the vet just to have her checked out. Broken bones are one thing, but you never know if something else could be messed up

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: So my dog fell off a cliff tonight... on 03/26/2011 14:13:32 MDT Print View

That's one lucky pup! That was courageous of you to climb down and save her.

Glad to hear she and you are fine.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
glad everything is okay on 03/28/2011 17:04:08 MDT Print View

Wow Craig, i kid you not, I skimmed the first sentences, than scrolled to the bottom in hopes for a good ending. Depending on the outcome, I was prepared to read the rest of your post differently--you know mental prep kind of thing. Whew! I'm thinking you're absolutely right that its a weight and youth thing. When I got my dog in college, my roommates and I had a similar incident. He's a chihuahua/Daschund mix and was around 8lbs when he fell off our 2nd story balcony onto the concrete porch below. My roommates and I had been throwing a ball around inside the house, playing fetch in our 2nd story apt. Well, the sliding glass door was open, the ball went over the edge, and so did the pup. Miraculously, he immediately gets up, unphased for the most part. He had a limp for a day, but cleared all vet checks. Only when he turned around 5 years old, we noticed that he was suffering from a luxating patellar (knee pops out). Unsure if it was from the accident, but its a condition pretty common for small dogs. Eitherway, our dogs are very lucky!