Friday, May 19, 2006

Dog Survives Fall Off Cliff; Owner Rescued

May 18, 2006 LOS ANGELES (AP) - A dog survived a plunge from an oceanside cliff and his owner had to be rescued when he got stuck searching for the animal. Pepe, a Jack Russell terrier, darted over the cliff's edge in the upscale Pacific Palisades area while chasing a squirrel on Tuesday.

He landed next to Pacific Coast Highway, where he narrowly avoided being struck by a big rig.

Motorist Jenny-Lyn Marais stopped and coaxed the dog into her Range Rover.

"I leaned across and opened the door and whistled for him to come," said Marais, who works in a Santa Monica dental lab. "He was so gentle and so grateful. He jumped right over on my lap and started licking me."

Meanwhile, Pepe's owner Brandon McMillan drove down to the base of the cliff and began climbing back up in search of his pet, but got stuck about 15 feet from the top when the ground began to give way.

Firefighters rescued McMillan, and a man who had been on the beach below told him that someone had stopped to pick up a dog.

Marais had dropped Pepe off at veterinary hospital. By chance, a friend of McMillan's who is an animal rescue volunteer stopped at the hospital to distribute a flyer about Pepe.

A few phone calls later, man and beast were reunited.

"If this dog has nine lives, he used two yesterday," McMillan, an animal trainer, said Wednesday. "One was falling off the cliff and the other was landing on Pacific Coast Highway and living to tell the tale. He did both."


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