A Wisconsin family took a trip to see the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan. They brought their 4-year-old dog, a Cocker Spaniel/Poodle mix named Leo, with them. The family was amazed by the beautiful sights at the National Park, but soon, they faced an unexpected danger.
Leo slipped out of his collar at one of the most dangerous points in the park. His curiosity caused him to almost plummet to his death, but luckily, many people rushed to help him before his injuries became extreme. This incident is an important reminder that you can never be too careful when bringing your dog in public.
Danger During Family Vacation
The family admired the Miners Castle landmark when Leo ended up in a risky situation. He ran forward, and when he got to the end of his leash, he slipped out of his collar. The pup jumped over a nearby railing and fell about 30 feet down a cliff. He landed on a ledge below, but he appeared to be limping.
When park rangers heard a child scream, they rushed over to see what was going on. They called a volunteer from the Superior High Angle Rescue Professionals (SHARP) to help them save the dog before he fell into Lake Superior below.
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The family encouraged Leo to stay put as SHARP volunteer John Miller was lowered down to the ledge by park rangers. Leo barked and wagged his tail as Miller approached, but he refused to come near him. Miller stayed by Leo for about 25 minutes to gain his trust. He handed him dog food, bread, and Goldfish crackers until Leo trusted him enough to be picked up.
“Once Leo was with rescuers, John was able to craft a makeshift harness from webbing to fit the dog and get him back onto the lower overlook platform to his waiting family,” Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore wrote on Facebook.
Leo is now safe, but the extent of his injuries is still unclear. Unfortunately, there have been lots of dangerous incidents at parks like this in the past, so it’s a good idea to be extra careful.
“The park’s shoreline can be very unforgiving from the cold water to the sheer cliffs and drop offs,” Chief Ranger Joe Hughes said. “By partnering with the highly trained mountaineering guides on SHARP, we are able to safely effect these types of high angle rescues here at the park.”
The family said they would buy Leo a harness so he won’t slip out of his collar again. No one ever thinks something like this will happen to their dog, but it’s a good idea to be cautious in these situations just in case. If you’re worried about your dog’s safety, it might be better to leave them behind for trips like this.
Featured Image: Facebook