A black lab experienced a string of good luck recently after an accident on a trail in Coos County.
According to Coos County K9 Deputy Adam Slater, a black lab named Molly slipped down a cliff on the upper area of the Golden & Silver Falls trail in the mid-afternoon Jan. 29. Fortunately, Molly landed about 30 feet below the trail on a narrow cliff only a few feet wide.
Without cell service in the area, a bystander descended the trail and called 911, Slater said. He was dispatched to the scene, along with staff from the Millington Fire Department.
Slater thought it would be easy to assist Molly off the cliff, since he already had a dog harness and 30-foot lead for his K9, but he discovered the situation was more complex upon his arrival.
“It was not exactly what I thought it was going to be,” Slater said.
The situation was more treacherous than he’d expected, with Molly further down the cliff than he’d imagined and on a ledge so narrow one of the dog’s legs dangled off the side.
“Somehow the dog hit that ledge,” Slater remembered.
Molly’s owner had been waiting for help at the cliff for several hours before Slater arrived, keeping her calm and stationary, Slater said. Soon, Millington Fire Chief Samantha Mason arrived with rappelling gear.
Mason rappelled down the side of the cliff towards the dog. As she approached the ledge, Slater said Molly began to get excited about the approaching person, standing up to greet her — and worrying those watching about the possibility she might slip off the edge.
Fortunately, Mason secured Molly with the harness and lead, and the group on the cliff above began to lift the 80-something-pound lab up the side.
“We used all the citizens behind us and everything to pull Molly back up,” Slater said.
Having the dog fall right on the tiny ledge, and having the right gear, were all what kept the scene from turning into a sadder one, Slater said.
“It was sheer luck,” he recalled. “It was the perfect storm.”