Jul 29, 2023
Dog Saved From Plummeting Off Cliff by Owner in Shocking Clip
Some dogs are meant to lie on the couch, while others love to go for a hike. But what if the worst happens while trekking through the wilderness with your pet? One TikTok user experienced a
Some dogs are meant to lie on the couch, while others love to go for a hike. But what if the worst happens while trekking through the wilderness with your pet?
One TikTok user experienced a heart-stopping moment on a recent hike in Portland Oregon, when his dog plummeted off the side of a cliff. Luckily, Dexter the German shepherd husky mix, was wearing a harness, leash and hiking pack at the time, and was hauled back to safety by his owner, Matt Struck, 37, a civil engineer from Portland, Oregon.
In a video posted to @lovestruckadventures, which has received over 1.2 million views, Struck can be heard calling Dexter's name in a panicked way while his other dog looks on, then pulls him back onto the path.
"Having my dog wear a pack and on leash while hiking saved his life," reads the caption. The hashtag is #neardeathexperence.
"My wife Josi and I were hiking the Burnt Lake Trail," Struck told Newsweek. "Dexter tried to walk across a rock that was angled down slope. When I saw he was slipping I tried to pull him toward me, but it was too late, he had already started sliding down the side of the cliff. I stopped his fall by holding the leash steady. Then I proceeded to lift him back up to the trail. He seemed so clueless about the close call he had."
"You're fast action really saved his life, the pack definitely helped but you were paying attention," commented one user.
"We don't usually share many videos of our hikes," added Struck. "We decided to share this one because we felt it was important to show others the importance of keeping your dog on leash with a harness while hiking. Accident's happen, but I'm so glad I had proper gear to mitigate the situation."
Getting out and about in nature with your dog is a great way to keep fit and keep your pet healthy and stimulated. But as this video showed, it's not without risks, which can be mitigated by following certain guidelines.
The American Kennel Club suggests always equipping your dog with a dog collar with ID tags and "a sturdy six-foot leash."
"We had just purchased new Ruffwear harness packs at REI, and were trying them out for the second time," said Struck. "They were just carrying their poop in them. We always keep them on leash when we hike in the national forest, it's the safest option for us. However, we often use a gentle leader, and I'm thankful that I switched their leashes to their packs because that could have been deadly."
The American Hiking Society also suggests keeping your dog on a leash while hiking. It's a good way to ensure other hikers feel comfortable and "also helps to ensure his safety, since the leash keeps him under control and by your side," the hiking society says.
It continues: "Unleashed dogs can quickly run off when tracking a scent and may disappear from your view very quickly. Always use a leash so that you and your dog will finish your hike together safely and can hike again at another time."
Keeping your dog on a leash can also prevent it from disturbing wildlife, according to the hiking society. "It also prevents your dog from chasing wildlife and reduces the habitat damage that occurs when dogs run off the trail. Dogs can leave behind a predator scent that disrupts wildlife and may hinder nesting and feeding activities."
Users on TikTok were shocked by the video.
"Thank goodness you saved him...heart stopping! commented one user.
"That's why we hike in [harnesses] as well just to be safe," said another.
"The anxiety I got just watching this. I'm glad dexter is safe," wrote a third user.
Do you have funny and adorable videos or pictures of your pet you want to share? Send them to [email protected] with some details about your best friend and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.
Update 8/31/23, 5:09 a.m. ET: This article was updated with comment from Matt Struck.Do you have funny and adorable videos or pictures of your pet you want to share? Send them to [email protected] with some details about your best friend and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.