Couple feared dog was dead after 300ft plunge down waterfall

Panicked Helen and David McKean thought their pet pooch would not survive the fall at Grey Mares Tail near Moffat.

Couple feared dog was dead after 300ft plunge down waterfall SWNS via SWNS

A couple feared their pet dog had died after the springer spaniel plunged 300ft down a waterfall.

Fifteen-month-old Louis vanished out of sight during a hill walk at Grey Mares Tail near Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway last Wednesday.

Owners Helen McKean, 55, and husband David, 56, faced an agonising five-hour wait while their pet was pulled from the drop.

For 45 minutes they believed their dog had died – until he started barking.

Mother-of-three Helen said: “He ran about 50 yards away from us to the edge of the waterfall, then started coming back before he caught a scent, and started wandering over to the edge of the cliff again.

“Then he disappeared.

The couple faced an agonising five-hour wait while Louis was pulled from the drop.

“I thought he had fallen down the waterfall and feared the worst.

“But then a wave of relief poured over me when I heard his bark.

“My husband looked down and spotted him on a ledge having fallen 300ft.

“Another 300ft drop was below the ledge.

“It’s hard because you’re hearing him but can’t get to him.

“We didn’t know if he was injured or not.

“We feared the worst.”

Retired nurse Helen walked back to the car park to get a phone signal so she could dial for help.

The Moffat Mountain Rescue Team arrived just after 1pm and used ropes and climbing equipment to reach the dog.

Two of the members climbed up the waterfall from the left-hand side, and once in a good enough position guided three others from the team up the waterfall on the right-hand side.

A member of the team reached Louis at 4.40pm and spent time comforting him before getting him into a rucksack and lifting him up to safety.

The Moffat Mountain Rescue Team came to his rescue.

Louis was said to be shaken by his ordeal as he was returned to his panicked owners, who have had him for a year.

Helen said: “It was amazing when we got him.

“He was wagging his tail like mad, and I was in tears.

“The first thing he did was gobble some food down.

“Louis is none the wiser but we’re shaken up from the whole incident.

“Future walks will be flat walks. That was his first hill walk, and that will be his last.

“So flat walks for the rest of his life.

“We’re so thankful to the mountain rescue team, they were marvellous – very calming.”

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