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Tag: falls

Man dies in fall trying to save his dog

A South Carolina man fell 125 feet to his death after trying to keep his dog from going over the ledge at an isolated waterfall.

David A. Lewis, 29, died Saturday on a hike in Greenville County with his girlfriend and dog.

An autopsy was scheduled for yesterday, according to the Greenville News.

“His dog got away from him, and started running for the falls. Then he went after his dog and reached for his dog. And as I understand it, when he reached for the dog, they both went over the falls,” Greenville County Deputy Coroner Kent Dill told WYFF

The dog was able to get his footing and get back to level ground, Dill said.

The girlfriend suffered some bruises while trying to make her way down to Lewis.

Lewis was a landscape architect with Earth Designs in Pickens.

200-pound dog gets hoisted out of sinkhole

A 200-pound mastiff fell into a 25-foot-deep sinkhole in the backyard of a California home, prompting a rescue effort that used ropes and pulleys to hoist him out — dirty but uninjured.

It took rescuers more than three hours to get the dog — named Cedrick — out of the hole, apparently the home’s old septic tank, which had been exposed by heavy rains, KION reported.

Nick Rollins’ call to 911 resulted in more than a dozen fire fighters and members of the San Luis Obispo County Technical Rescue Team responding to his home in Nipomo.

They spend hours rigging a pulley system, then lowered Morro Bay Fire Department paramedic Todd Gailey into the hole.

He spent about 30 minutes strapping the dog into multiple harnesses. Moments after Gailey was hoisted out of the hole, Cedrick, 6 years old, was pulled up, hosed off and, after being checked by a veterinarian, pronounced to be in good shape.

We survived Niagara Falls

I almost lost Ace at Niagara Falls – and in the worst imaginable way.

After leaving Saugerties, we headed across New York state, stopping overnight in Syracuse,  mainly because Ace desperately needed a bath. I think even he – scratching a lot of late — agreed with that assessment. He jumped right into the Motel 6 bathtub, sat patiently as I used the ice bucket to soak him down, and smiled as I scrubbed him with an oatmeal-based flea and tick shampoo, rinsed him and toweled him off, using every flimsy white towel in the room

The next day, smelling better — him, at least – we continued to Buffalo,  where I got a break from motel charges and fast food by staying with an aunt and uncle in Amherst.

My father’s brother and his wife, while dog lovers, are not believers in the whole idea of them living in the house. Their children’s dogs, and even their own dog, were never permitted in the house. I respected that, and figured, with the temperatures still above freezing, one night as a real dog wouldn’t hurt Ace.

I laid his blanket near the door, and he had a spacious, well-manicured, fenced backyard at his disposal. He seemed to enjoy everything about being outside – except for the fact that the people were inside. He’d sit at the window and gaze in forlornly, especially when he sensed food was being served

Only twice during the night did I hear him whine – and in a way I’d never heard him whine before. Usually he will emit a two syllable sound, when he’s upset or impatient. Something like “ruh-ROOOO.” On this night, he came up with a four syllable one, something like “ruh-REEE-RAAA-rooo.”

The next morning, when I stepped outside, he was the most energetic and playful I’ve seen him since our trip began. I think a night in the fresh air, as opposed to a Motel 6 smoking room, did him good. The stop did me good, too. My aunt and uncle fed me well, and sent me with a sack lunch on my visit to Niagara Falls.

It was only a slight hassle entering Canada after crossing the Rainbow Bridge  (not be be confused with the mythical one where pets wait for their owners before going into heaven). I feared, with all I’m toting inside and atop my car, someone might feel the need to search it all; instead I just got a verbal grilling.

“What’s the purpose of your trip? What’s all that in your car? Are you carrying any firearms? Do you have any tobacco?”

My answers seemed to satisfy the Canadian agent – except for the one pertaining to the purpose of my trip. He spent a long time looking at the ohmidog! magnet sign on the side of my car.

“It’s a website about dogs,” I explained. “Right now, I’m traveling across the country with my dog, like John Steinbeck did, and writing about it.”

His face had a blank look.

“I don’t get it,” he said. “Do you sell stuff on your website?”

“Not really,” I answered.

“Do you breed dogs?”

“No.”

“How many dogs do you have in there?”

“In the car you mean? Just one.”

He handed me back my passport and signaled me through, and I followed the signs to Niagara Falls, which led me to an $18 parking space a short walk away from the falls.

Once there, as has happened at other scenic wonders, some of the tourists seemed more taken with Ace than the tourist attraction.

At least 20 people took his picture. Some asked to pose with him. One  volunteered to take a picture of the two of us together, with the falls in the background, as if we were honeymooners. And at least 30 asked the eternal question: “What kind of dog is that?”

Although the sun wasn’t in the right place, I tried to get some photos of Ace with the falls in the background. The edge of the falls, on the Canadian side, is blocked off by a railing. There’s a stone wall, about two feet high, with iron rails running above it. The stone wall was wide enough for Ace to get up on and sit, so I had him do so — right next to the sign that said “Danger.”

I had taken a few shots when a gaggle of tourists stopped, one of them with a little girl who just couldn’t stop squealing at Ace — squeals of delight, but squeals all the same. Ace isn’t a fan of the squeal. As I was holding on to his leash, putting my camera away, and answering questions about my dog, Ace – I think to distance himself from the squeals — jumped over the rail.

There was grass on the other side, about six feet of it, before the sheer drop. He walked toward the edge, to the point that I was leaning over the rail, holding his leash, trying to reel him back in. I pulled him back to the wall, and when I told him to jump back over he did.

Fortunately, no authorities saw the incident and I didn’t get the scolding I probably deserved. Then again, neither do all those people who seem to not give a second thought to holding their young children over the rail to give them a better view.

We moved along after that, weaving through all the tourists – and there were hordes of them, from all over the globe, some stopping me so they could take Ace’s photo, some asking to borrow him to pose with (Okay, but not near the rail), some wanting their children to meet him. One Japanese man, clearly wanting to ask about Ace but not a speaker of English, simply gave me a thumbs up.

It was a lot like our experience at the red rocks of Sedona, only multiplied. Then, too, Ace’s close call reminded me of that sad story we heard at Glen Canyon.

Back in the car, well away from the falls, I scolded myself again for letting my attention get diverted, and unwrapped the ham sandwiches my aunt had prepared.  I ate one of them. You can guess who got the other.

Sitting there in my $18 parking space, happy I hadn’t lost my dog to the roaring natural wonder, I gave silent thanks – that the only Rainbow Bridge either of us were crossing that day was the real one, and for the day I met him at Baltimore’s animal shelter.

After five years, the honeymoon continues.

Dog survives 300-foot fall from U.K. cliff

A springer spaniel chasing a seagull ran off the edge of the cliff and plunged 300 feet into the water during a walk  in East Sussex.

After her fall, the dog, named Poppy, managed to swim to shore, where a lifeboat retrieved her.

cliffPoppy was treated for a partially collapsed lung after the Valentine’s Day accident, but has now made a full recovery, according to The Telegraph.

On the day of the accident, the dog was being walked by a sister of the owner.

What evil lurks beneath Bucks County lake?

snappingturtle

 
Reports are circulating that a small dog swimming in a lake at a Bucks County, Pa., park was pulled under by a snapping turtle and eaten.

Whether that’s what really happened or not, the dog was never seen again, and its owner was reportedly so distraught that an ambulance had to be sent to the park to sedate her, according to the Bucks County Courier-Times.

The paper quotes a township employee, who didn’t want to be identified, as saying a dog was killed by a snapping turtle about three weeks ago in Falls Township Community Park.

The employee said the dog was off its leash, against park policy, and a ball was thrown into the lake so the dog could retrieve it. The dog supposedly never came back.

Park security supervisor Ralph Connor said he’s heard the story, but hasn’t been able to confirm that it happened.  ”There are plenty of snapping turtles in that lake and some pretty big ones,” he said, holding his arms about a foot apart to indicate the size.

Falls police said they did not respond, or receive a report about the incident, which reportedly took place about three weeks ago. Falls Manager Peter Gray said he is looking into the alleged attack: “We will be talking to staff members to try and get to the bottom of it,” he said.

On July 19, the newspaper reported, a member of its staff was on the banks of the lake near the dog park and was warned by a park ranger not to let the dogs venture to far out into the lake. The ranger said there had been reports that a woman had her toe bitten off by a snapping turtle and another woman lost her dog to one.

In the absence of official confirmation or denial, the story — suburban myth or not — seems to be taking on ”Loch Ness monster proportions,” the newspaper said. The owner of the dog has not come forward.

Large signs at the park say swimming and wading are forbidden, and dogs are only permitted in the water along the shore, and while on a leash.

Getting tripped up by facts, and dogs

 You can’t consume media these days without tripping over this story — roughly 240 Americans wind up in emergency rooms every day for sprains, fractures or other injuries from a fall caused by a dog or cat.

Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said dogs and cats account for about 1 percent of the 8 million fall-related injuries that end up being treated in emergency rooms each year.

Yes, 1 percent. Why, then is it such a big story? I’ll tell you why. Partly because newspapers are becoming less likely to do their own work these days. They want to fill their newsholes as cheaply as they possibly can — so they rewrite, or use wire stories, which are often already rewrites. And bloggers? They’re even worse, rewriting the rewritten rewrites.

Just as a sentence gets screwed up the more times it’s repeated from one person to the next, so can news, or alleged news.

Here’s what Reuters reported: ”Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said dogs and cats account for 88 percent of all fall-related injuries in emergency departments.”

Some simple math: 87,000 falls a year is not 88 percent of 8 million.

What the CDC did report was that 88 percent of reported pet-caused falls were caused by dogs, but that’s entirely different from saying 88 percent of all falls were caused by pets.

If 88 percent of all falls leading to hospitalization were caused by pets, that would be a big story. One percent? That’s barely a story at all. Yet it’s everywhere.

Words, math, dogs –they’re all easy to trip over. But before we start portraying pets as a health hazard — and at this point I would ask how many of those falls were caused by dumb humans, as opposed to dumb animals — we might want to take steps to get the facts right and put them in perspective.

(Photo courtesy of ihasahotdog.com)

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