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Labrador Retriever Survives Cliff Fall On Christmas Day


On Christmas afternoon, David Schelske’s hike with his Labrador Retriever, Sandy, took a harrowing turn.

Schelske was using his brand-new retractable leash for the first time on their afternoon hike. He took off the pack and tied the leash around an exposed root to take a photo of the trail.

Something scared the yellow Lab and she bolted away. Poor Sandy disappeared around a corner.

Labrador Retriever Survives Cliff Fall On Christmas Day (3)Schelske initially thought she had run further down the trail, but when he encountered hikers coming from that direction, they said they hadn’t seen a dog. Worried, Schelske realized she might have fallen down a sheer cliff of more than 100 feet.

Other hikers joined the search and Schelske hiked down to the bottom but there no sign of Sandy. Finally, a woman helping with the search called out that she had spotted the Labrador. Schelske thought she was referring to Sandy’s remains.

But what he saw was his Lab – alive and kicking. The dog was standing on a ledge of loose rock, about 70 feet off the ground. She had apparently slipped down a steep slope and ended up in a ‘slot canyon’. The pooch tried to climb until she could go no further.

Labrador Retriever Survives Cliff Fall On Christmas Day (1)While Schelske and the hikers were searching for Sandy, a family called 911 for help. The volunteer rescuers of Oregon Humane Society were notified about the situation and by 7 p.m., the team had assembled at the trail above Sandy.

Humane Society volunteer John Thoeni rappelled 150 feet down to reach Sandy. The tired Lab allowed her rescuer to place her in a harness, and volunteers above hoisted the two of them to the trail.

Schelske was reunited with his dog and met Sandy’s saviors who willingly devoted their time on Christmas night. A few minutes before midnight, Schelke and Sandy were on their way home.

Sandy has a cut and various bumps and scrapes but apart from that, the Labrador is well.


Image credits: David Schelske, Oregon Humane Society
Source: Oregon Live