Saturday, March 17, 2012

Today's Adventure in Rock Climbing and Falling

This is how many of my Saturday afternoons go: I ask my husband to get into the Jeep and drive me around. I sit in the passenger seat with my camera in my lap as we drive dusty, rural roads. Every now and then I say, "this is a nice spot. Let's stop here for a bit." (or, occasionally, "OMG stop stop stop I think  Then I get out and wander around and take pictures while he stays in the car and plays games on his phone. If it's a particularly deserted place, I let the dogs out, too. Then I get back in the car and we continue on to the next likely spot.

This afternoon we were toodling around the hills on the Washington side of McNary dam on the Columbia river. I saw a likely spot to get a good view of the dam and river and we followed our normal routine. I climbed up on top of a small cliff, dogs trotting behind. As I was snapping pictures of the dam, I saw furry black shape out of the corner of my eye sniffing around near the edge of the cliff. I looked up just in time to see Zelda walk right over the edge of the cliff and disappear from view.

In the time it took me to process the fact my dog had just fallen a substantial height, and to take a few steps in the direction, she came running up the trail towards me and Sammy, panting happily, no limp in sight.

Tom saw the whole thing from his vantage point inside the Jeep. I didn't hear the thumping sound when she hit the ground, but he assures me it was quite loud. He said she bounced. She didn't even act shaken. Not even a cursory few minutes of nervous yipping. Nothing.

After I made sure she wasn't broken, I had Tom take this picture of me with Sammy (Zelda is out of frame somewhere) standing about where Zelda landed. For scale, I'm about 5'7". Although from this picture it looks like it tapers, the side we're standing on is a shear 90 degree cliff face. She may have slid the first few feet, but she fell through thin air at least 20 feet, and that ground is covered in fist-sized lava rocks. Nothing to show for it but a small scrape on her abdomen and one on her chin.

We cut our road trip short and went back home, but she continues to be completely normal.

Now I'm really sad that we had her spayed. Think of the money we could have made breeding our special Rubber Collie line.


K-Koira said...

Ouch! People always say I worry too much about my dogs around sharp drop offs, that dogs never fall over them. I think now I'm going to be even more paranoid. Glad she was okay!

Caitlin Karplus said...

You have the Mr. Fantastic of border collies!