Alex Hurrell, Reporter
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Dolly the partially-sighted dog has been safely reunited with her owner after plunging down a crumbling cliff at Happisburgh.
The terrified 10-year-old pooch sparked a major rescue alert after coming to rest on a ledge part-way down the 30ft cliff.
Happisburgh and Mundesley Coastguards were called out at 1.40pm today after they were contacted by Happisburgh Coast Watch.
“We had reports that members of the public were trying to rescue the dog so we went along to help because we didn’t want people getting stuck too,” said a coastguard spokesman.
The coastguard team had been preparing to rescue Dolly, a Lhasa Apso, when she managed to get herself safely down to the beach below unaided, according to the spokesman.
The start of the drama was watched by Mary Fisher who was walking her own dog on the beach below the Manor Caravan Park.
Mrs Fisher, from Horning, saw a woman try to climb the cliff to rescue Dolly but said she got stuck in thick, wet clay and abandoned the attempt.
“The owner was calling and calling. She said the dog had cataracts. She went to get help and I stood there for a while talking to the dog. The poor thing was petrified and shaking,” said Mrs Fisher.
The incident is the third in four months involving dogs falling down cliffs at Happisburgh.
In September last year coastguards and a lifeboat crew rescued a man and his dog after the owner followed his stricken pet down the cliff to try and rescue it himself.
And in October Beagle-cross Max also took a tumble, while having a cliff-top walk with his master, and had to be rescued by coastguards.
The coastguard spokesman said: “We advise that dogs should always be kept on leads near cliffs.”