Dog falls off steep cliff

Louis Power
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Tour boat ferries man, injured animal to shore to seek medical help

Clare McIntyre was walking her dog with a friend on the East Coast Trail in Bay Bulls Sunday when a distressed woman came running toward her.

The unleashed dog the woman was walking had fallen from a steep cliff.

"That cliff is very frightening," McIntyre said.

"It's like a sheer vertical drop, and it must be 20, 30 metres from sea level. It's one of the most staggering cliffs that I've ever walked in Newfoundland."

Photo at left, a boat belonging to O'Brien's Boat Tours comes ashore to rescue a dog which had fallen from a cliff in Bay Bulls Sunday. Photo at right, Joe O'Brien helps a man and woman rescue a dog that fell from a cliff in Bay Bulls Sunday. - Photos cou

Clare McIntyre was walking her dog with a friend on the East Coast Trail in Bay Bulls Sunday when a distressed woman came running toward her.

The unleashed dog the woman was walking had fallen from a steep cliff.

"That cliff is very frightening," McIntyre said.

"It's like a sheer vertical drop, and it must be 20, 30 metres from sea level. It's one of the most staggering cliffs that I've ever walked in Newfoundland."

McIntyre gave the woman a rope and the woman ran off.

"By the time we got there, they were flagging down the O'Brien's (tour) boat, and we just watched," she said.

A man, who had also been walking the dog, was below the cliff, where he had the dog on the rocks, partially covered with a blanket as the animal had a broken leg.

"A boat was coming in the harbour on the north side and she spotted some people on the East Coast Trail waving in kind of a 'come help me' fashion," said Joe O'Brien of O'Brien's Boat Tours.

He said there were about 20 people on the tour boat watching as he helped the man and the dog get safely into a small boat.

"They thought it was pretty cool," he said.

There were about 15 to 20 people watching from shore as well, he said. McIntyre was one of them, and she said it was exciting, but also worrisome.

"I hope the dog is OK, because it would be an awfully sad story if the dog didn't make it," she said.

When the boat reached shore again, O'Brien helped the man get his dog into a vehicle and the man headed to the nearest vet.

Neither O'Brien nor McIntyre caught the man's or woman's name.

"The details were so scanty. It all happened in a matter of 15 minutes," said O'Brien, who is interested to know what happened to the dog.

For McIntyre, the situation put the importance of leashing her dog into perspective.

"I keep him on a leash because he's not good with other dogs," she said.

"I hadn't really thought about the danger, but it just kind of brings home the risk of letting your dog run free on a path like that."

lpower@thetelegram.com

Geographic location: Bay Bulls, Newfoundland

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