Author Topic: Saw a dog falling of a cliff today (RIP) - stupid people  (Read 508 times)

Birdman

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Today was the last day of my 6 days South Downs Way walk from Winchester to Eastbourne. Stealth camping all the way and fantastic weather! Especially the last day (today) was the highlight of the walk on the white cliffs (Seven Sisters) near Eastbourne. That was the nice part of the adventure, but there was a very sad part too.


At some point I walked past a Herring Gull that was sitting right on the cliff edge. Nice perch, I thought. Then a family + dog was approaching me. The dog was not on a lead! I already had an inkling what was going to happen, so I warned the guy "watch your dog!" or something along those lines, but at the same moment the dog already spotted the gull and started running towards the gull. He passed 2 metres in front of me and then I saw him crashing off the cliffs just 10 metres behind me. I could hear him hitting the ground below the cliffs about 3 seconds later, that's how long the fall took.


I feel really sorry for this family. I guess it's like losing a member of the family. However, I also cannot believe the stupidity. I mean, what do you expect a happy dog to do on a sunny afternoon? Chasing after stuff, of course! Even for us it would be easy to step off the cliff by accident, but for a dog, being low on the ground, it is even more difficult to see that there is a cliff edge. So why do some people not have their dog on a lead in such areas!?


To my surprise, only 10 minutes later I met another family with an loose dog, who were just starting to climb the very cliff where the previous accident happened. So I warned them. I got blank stares at first (like how is this your business). Then I told them I just saw a dog fall off the cliff. They thought I was joking! Then I made very clear that I was not joking. Then they thanked me for the warning. I'm really surprised how people apparently don't realise the danger they put their dog in by not having it on a lead.


When I was on the next hill, I saw in the distance (using my binoculars) how the bereaved family recovered their dead dog from the foreshore beneath the cliff. It was such a sad sight. I also spotted the Herring gull above them, perched at exactly the same spot on the cliff edge, ready to lure the next loose dog to his death.
« Last Edit: 21:41:57, 22/07/20 by Birdman »
My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

cornwallcoastpathdweller

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Re: Saw a dog falling of a cliff today (RIP) - stupid people
« Reply #1 on: 21:53:13, 22/07/20 »
very sad story to tell see and read about but, as a dog owner who constantly walks the cliffs with his dog its not being off the lead thats the problem, its the lack of obiedience of the dog, generally down to poor owner training, and lack of attention of the surroundings. 
My dog is hardly ever on his lead, anywhere, and is generally never more than a metre or so from my ankle, never chases anything and immediately stops on command or a clapped hand.
As ever with poor training, its the dog that suffers the consequences of its slack owner. 
Dogs shouldnt be allowed to run wild, if they do, then put the lead on.
one step then another then another then a bench - please?

Little Foot

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Re: Saw a dog falling of a cliff today (RIP) - stupid people
« Reply #2 on: 08:04:45, 23/07/20 »
Poor thing. The family have learnt a very sad lesson, and I hope the other family learned one too. It's rare I let my dog off the lead, as she is a bit of a daft lapdog and will chase birds. She goes mad when a seagull flies over the garden so would definitely be leashed on a cliff.

andybr

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Re: Saw a dog falling of a cliff today (RIP) - stupid people
« Reply #3 on: 09:06:47, 23/07/20 »
Unfortunately it is not just the dog that can be at risk. A few years ago my wife and her friend were walking along the Cleveland Way north of Scarborough and could hear continuous barking from a dog somewhere on the cliff below them. By the time they returned along the same path the coastguard were searching for the animal. They eventually found the dog but all they found of the owner was his abandoned fishing gear at the top of the cliff. He was never found and it was assumed that he had fallen while looking for his pet and ended up in the sea.

Beth FF

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Re: Saw a dog falling of a cliff today (RIP) - stupid people
« Reply #4 on: 13:24:23, 23/07/20 »
Oh crumbs, that's so awful, and a harsh lesson that family has learned  :'(  If I was witness to something like that it would haunt me, so hope you're OK Birdman

Dodgylegs

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Re: Saw a dog falling of a cliff today (RIP) - stupid people
« Reply #5 on: 23:21:30, 23/07/20 »
Terrible event to witness, hope you're OK.


Reminded me of a friend out walking his elderly dog on his usual walk along riverside, when his dog suddenly spotted something and jumped into the river, only to be swept away and never found. Awful when these things occur.

sussamb

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Re: Saw a dog falling of a cliff today (RIP) - stupid people
« Reply #6 on: 10:23:53, 24/07/20 »
When I was a teenager I frequented the adventure centre on Drake's Island in Plymouth Sound. Steve, the warden, had a boxer dog. One day when we were having lunch at the top of a cliff face without thinking I threw a piece of bread out over the cliff, dog followed  :o


Thankfully cliff wasn't too high but dog did break his jaw  :(
Where there's a will ...

ninthace

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Re: Saw a dog falling of a cliff today (RIP) - stupid people
« Reply #7 on: 12:09:57, 24/07/20 »
One of the places I worked at, my office was an ex married quarter.  On Fridays, if we weren't too busy I would stand the staff down early so they could get home at a reasonable hour and I would man the phones myself.  I used to take my dog, a border collie, with me as company.  One afternoon I heard a frantic scrabbling and looked round just in time to see the dog jumping out of the upstairs bedroom in an effort to chase a squirrel running along a branch outside.  The dog made a perfect five point landing, 4 legs and a chin, then jumped up still trying to work out where the squirrel had gone.  Fortunately she suffered no ill effects but I checked the windows were shut after that.
Solvitur Ambulando

Toxicbunny

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Re: Saw a dog falling of a cliff today (RIP) - stupid people
« Reply #8 on: 21:26:13, 24/07/20 »
There are some utter tools who own dogs. I saw a dog fall off a cliff at Port Mulgrave it was awful. A recue team were called and did get the dog back up on a stretcher. I dont know if the dog made it or not. On cliff walks all dogs should be on a leash no matter how well trained owners think they are.