Setter Falls Off Cliff, Lab Falls Down Well

Two gundogs were rescued in separate, frightening incidents.

The first took place at Colorado's Pueblo Reservoir area, where Earl Wood was training his young English setter, "Doc Holliday." When Doc didn't return following a run, Wood approached a cliff and peered over the edge—Doc had slipped over the side and clung to a ledge 60 feet below. Not only was the dog perched on a 3-foot rock six stories down, but nightfall quickly approached.

"It was getting dark by the time we got to where we could repel," Wood told KKTV-11 News. "And we really didn't want to risk a life at that point, and I was sure that Doc would be all right for the night."

The next morning rescuers repelled down the cliff and saved Doc after he'd spent 18 hours on the ledge. Wood says he'll be fine.

"He's very hyper, very fast, very strong and very athletic," said Wood. "And he'll do good [hunting birds] on the eastern plains of Montana."

If there's anything worse than spending 18 hours on the side of a cliff, perhaps it's falling down an 85-foot, turn-of-the-century well and treading water for the next several hours. That's exactly what happened to "Deiter," a 7-year-old yellow Lab from Ethel, Wash.

Deiter is taxidermist Mark Haskins' prized upland bird and waterfowl dog. It's unknown how long Deiter was down the well before Haskins' wife, Patti, discovered him.

Firefighters drained the well and tried to lasso Deiter, but to no avail. By then Deiter had been treading water for several hours and was beginning to struggle. That's when a volunteer ran home and got a salmon net. He lowered it down the well, snagged Deiter and helped firefighters pull the dog nearly nine stories to safety.

Haskins and Deiter

"He's pretty beat up and pretty cut up," Haskins told The News Tribune. "But he’s resting quite peacefully."

Deiter has been prescribed antibiotics and pain medication, and he should be back to hunting pheasants and ducks in no time. The wood covering the well, which had rotted, has been replaced.

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