Monday, 10 May 2010
birthday wishes and a misadventure
Look who's turned 1 year old today! And we are very very lucky to be able to say that because while we were away Floss had a major misadventure at Kynance Cove. We had been looking forward to exploring the beach all day, it's a quite isolated, wild place with lots of rocky inlets and a gorgeous sandy beach. We waited until 7pm because of the dog ban during the day but unfortunately by this time the tide was in so we decided to go up onto the clifftop instead to see the view.
Well we were just about up there when Floss saw a bird and bolted. Usually she's very good at coming back but not this time. We raced after her as fast as we could with Mr P in the lead when he shouted, "She's gone over the cliff! She's gone! She's gone!" I couldn't quite believe what I was hearing. I felt sick to my stomach. And we looked over the edge. It was about 50 ft to the bottom. Then oh my god, there she was, swimming in the waves trying to scramble onto a rock that was jutting out of the water. The next hour and a half were the darkest minutes I've ever had to endure. Mr P ran to find a phone as there was no mobile coverage and I was left to watch her struggling, trying to jump onto a tiny ledge on the sheer cliff face and then falling off into the waves again and scrambling back onto the rock. The tide was coming in and the water was rising and I really thought she was going to drown while I stood watching helplessly. I have never felt so useless or so alone.
It seemed to take forever for Mr P to come back, the Coastguard on the way. But one of us had to stay by the phone. So I went as I couldn't bear it any longer. And there I sat with tears streaming down my face, praying and hoping and wishing, all my resolve gone. The Coastguard arrived about half an hour later and I led them to the cliff edge and there we sat waiting for a team to arrive that would abseil down to get her. They did an amazing job but my heart was in my mouth. The rock that she had scrambled on by this time had big waves breaking over it so I think she would have drowned had she not been able to jump from it to the cliff face. I will never forget the haunting echoing clang of metal being hammered into the clifftop mixed with the crashing of waves from below as long as I live. It seemed to go on for such a long time. A lovely man who later got a big hug, eventually abseiled down, managed to grab her collar and gripped her under his arm before carrying her back up to safety.
How very very lucky we are. A couple of metres to the right and she would have fallen on the rocks, thank god there was water there. We are so very grateful to the Coastguard. And we really can't believe that she is still with us. We took her to see the vet and there was not even a scratch on her. The next day she carried on as though nothing had happened at all while we were counting our blessings. She is our little wonder dog and I love her so much.