A mental health crisis worker who watched in horror as her beloved rescue dog plunged 60 feet off a cliff has expressed her gratitude and disbelief after he survived and staged a full recovery in just two months.
Rosie Price, 30, who lives in Bristol, watched as George, a greyhound cross who she adopted in 2018, “slipped off” the side of the 18-metre cliff at Goblin Combe, North Somerset, in July 2022.
Rosie, who was out walking with a friend, said George had been chasing goats and “yelped” as he fell – then there was “complete silence” and she feared the worst.
After a 40-minute search operation, George miraculously appeared on a path next to the cliff, bloodied and dazed, and Rosie “couldn’t believe it when (she) saw him standing there”.
She then faced an agonising five-day wait to see if her rescue pup would survive at the vets, as he had suffered extensive internal injuries, bruising, and had fluid on his organs.
“It was very touch-and-go for those five days,” Rosie explained.
“We had updates a couple of times a day… (but) we were having to think about how long we were going to make him suffer for really.
“We thought we might have to put him down just because we thought it wasn’t fair to keep him alive if he wasn’t getting better.”
But, despite the severity of George’s injuries, he has since made a full recovery and is back running on the beach again with his other furry friends – one of his favourite activities.
“I was very much in that headspace of he’s definitely died,” Rosie said.
“I just thought, there’s no way he’s going to survive this, especially when we got to the bottom of the cliffs and saw how high they were.
“I feel very, very lucky.”
Rosie adopted George, the first dog she has ever owned, back in 2018 from the Forever Hounds Trust – a charity dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of unwanted, abused or abandoned greyhounds and lurchers.
She explained that she had never had any pets before, but she was matched with the “cute” and “pretty” greyhound crossbreed, who was described as “gorgeous George”.
She said George, now six years old, can be “lazy” at times and loves to lounge around at home on his very own sofa, but he also loves going for walks, especially at the beach.
Back on July 5, 2022, Rosie took George to a new location with her friend, Amber, who has three dogs, and she said she did not realise the area was being used to “rewild goats” or that there were cliffs.
Rosie said George was running around with the three other dogs in the forest, but then he suddenly “disappeared”.
“I could hear a load of barking, so I just followed that; I assumed he was chasing a squirrel or something,” she said.
“When I eventually found him, he was on the edge of a cliff and there were two goats. Luckily, none of the goats were hurt, thank goodness, but they were slightly off the edge of the cliff.
“George was very overexcited, and he was just barking at them and he was running around.
“I was trying to get him back, but it wasn’t going to happen, and I didn’t really want to go too close to the cliff edge myself because I didn’t want to end up falling off, so I thought I’d just see what happens and hope that he’s going to come back.”
But Rosie could never have prepared herself for what happened next.
“He was right on the edge and then he just slipped,” she said.
“I heard a yelp as he fell and then it was just complete silence, so at that point, I thought that he probably had died because, from the top, it looked like a really sheer drop.”
Rosie said she went “into panic mode” and was in “shock”.
Her “supportive” friend Amber tried to be positive, saying she was “convinced he was alive”, and her three dogs went looking for George, but Rosie did not have the same optimism.
Luckily, the dog walkers came across a local man called Alex, who had seen the “crazy accident”, and he showed them how to get down to the bottom of the cliffs.
After 40 minutes of searching, Rosie had almost given up hope, as she heard “no noise or crying” from her furry companion.
But, George then appeared on the path, looking like he was “in shock”, before collapsing in front of Rosie, Amber, and Alex.
“I was carrying George; I was covered in blood, he was bleeding everywhere, it was horrible, but we managed to get back to the car park,” Rosie said.
“We loaded him up into the car and he was just lying there, very still, and I could see that he was breathing, but other than that, he looked in a really bad way.”
Rosie took the battered and bruised pup to Zetland Vets, in Bristol – part of My Family Vets, and they saw George straight away.
They cleaned him up, gave him stitches, applied bandages, and tended to his wounds, as his “paws were all ripped up and his legs were all cut up”.
Rosie and George returned to the vets the following day for an X-ray and, amazingly, the rescue pup did not appear to have any broken bones, but severe bruising all over his body.
But he was not eating, drinking or walking, and the next day, there was blood in his urine, so he then faced another trip to the vets and remained there for five days.
Rosie said she received updates from the vets every day, but she had to keep busy, working, to distract herself.
She said: “I was quite convinced that we were going to have to put him down, which I was feeling very sad about.
“It was really horrible.”
But on the fifth day at the vets, George started eating again and started to show positive signs.
Two months later, and after a £3,500 vet bill, Rosie said he was back to full health, with no visible signs of psychological trauma.
She said she felt “pretty ashamed” and “guilty” at the time of the incident, as she thought she was going to have to tell her partner, Will Kidner, 35, an accountant, that she “had killed (their) dog”.
But she said it was “an accident” and she is so grateful to have George with her now, and for the way the vets looked after him.
She said: “I’m very thankful that he’s still around because he brings a lot of joy to our life and he gets us out of the house, and I’ve made lots of friends through having George.
“I feel like I appreciate him even more than I did before.”