Anyone who owns a dog has probably worried about their pet getting into trouble or getting hurt. It's not something anyone with a dog ever wants to think about. Unfortunately, the reality is that accidents can happen, and they can be fatal. That was the case for one woman, after her dog fell from a cliff. Authorities came to help, but the B.C. dog rescue ended in tragedy.
Photographer Nikki Bigger had been travelling through Vancouver Island with her Australian Shepherd, Frankie. Bigger and Frankie were enjoying the outdoors with another woman and her dog. As the dogs fought over a stick, the other woman grabbed it and reportedly threw it over a cliff.
Frankie took off after the stick and plummeted off the side of the 90-metre cliff. "My last visual was him putting his breaks on to not fall over, obviously it was not fast enough," Bigger told CTV News. "There was three seconds silence and then I heard him yell far away… and then nothing."
Immediately after Frankie fell, Bigger called 911. Members of the Maple Bay Fire department quickly arrived but determined that due to the steepness of the cliff, they would not be able to help. Instead, they called in Cowichan Search and Rescue.
The search and rescue team, which was comprised of more than 20 people, arrived quickly and began their own search efforts. "Cowichan SAR is responding to a rope rescue for a dog in a little bit of trouble," the organization wrote on their Facebook page. "Fingers crossed for our furry friend."
Despite the efforts of the search and rescue team, Frankie had already sustained fatal injuries from the fall. Cowichan Search and Rescue posted an update reading, "With heavy hearts we have to tell you that the fall was too great. Sadly the young dog had no chance to survive the 300+ feet. He was lovingly brought back up to his devastated person."
Bigger posted her own message about Frankie's loss on Instagram, writing, "Yesterday was one of the worst days of my life. My little hairy beautiful pup had his life taken by someone who was careless with their actions. It's a very hard situation for me to process and I'm so heartbroken."
Bigger continued, "Please take this as a lesson to always think before you act because you could literally take someone's life.. I love you frankie❤." The Instagram account created for Frankie, @letsgo_frankie, currently has over 25,000 followers.