Spaniel Rowan plunges off cliff while chasing bird ... and survives
Last Updated: 24/11/2023
A family walk turned to horror when two-year-old pet dog Rowan chased a bird straight off the edge of a 20-metre-high cliff.
Claire Booth feared the worst when the speedy working cocker spaniel, having initially landed on a ledge, plunged the rest of the way down the Cheltenham cliff.
Claire was with husband Laurence and their three kids at Leckhampton Hill when Rowan spotted the bird.
“He’s so quick when he’s off the lead, but he’s usually just at fields near our home,” said Claire.
“He shot off after this bird and despite us calling him back, he somersaulted right off the cliff edge. I was so shocked. One second he was there, and the next he was gone.
Other amazing pet stories: Skydiving dog falls 60ft from a clifftop
“We don’t really go there so I didn’t know how far he could have fallen and thought that may be it.”
When they ran to look, they saw Rowan had landed on a ledge seven or eight metres down and initially only seemed shocked. Unable to reach him, Laurence ran to get to the bottom of the cliff, but Rowan then panicked and slipped off.
“He fell all the way down and landed with a thud, which was horrible,” said Claire. “You obviously think the worst and the kids were naturally really upset.
“Laurence could see his breathing was very shallow and we needed help fast, so we phoned the vets who said to get him there as soon as possible.
The family rushed him to the Dragon Vets’ Prestbury Park clinic. But despite the horror fall, Rowan was in remarkable condition.
“Thankfully, the family did the right thing and got him to us quickly,” said veterinary surgeon Ruth Carroll. “When we heard the height he had fallen from, we thought there could be some serious injuries.
“We immediately started doing tests and taking multiple X-rays to look for any damage.
“But he had somehow escaped with no broken bones and had just a few cuts and bruises. He really was incredibly lucky.”
Claire anxiously checked in regularly late into the night and was relieved to hear that not only was Rowan not in danger, but that they could collect him the next day.
“When we went to get him, he came out happily wagging his tail, which was so unexpected,” said Claire.
“He was a bit subdued for a day but the next day he was running around as if nothing had happened. You’d never have known he’d fallen off a cliff.
“Dragon Vets were brilliant, explaining everything they were doing, and we’re just so grateful it somehow all turned out well.”
Dragon Vets is part of My Family Vets, a nationwide network of veterinary practices and referral hospitals.