VIDEO - When Cowboy toppled down a 30-foot cliff Monday night San Juan Island Fire & Rescue Firefighters were there to save him. Gretchen Bailey said her hearing- and vision-impaired 14-year-old golden retriever got confused and ended up falling down the cliff on the island’s west side before she could reach him. Firefighter Craig McConnell and Lt. Michael Henderson rappelled down the rocky wall to Cowboy using an intricate rope and pulley system set up by several firefighters. The rising tide was beginning to splash onto Cowboy who lay there motionless, tired and scared when the firefighters reached him.
“When we approached Cowboy, we were in six inches of water, and by the time we were secured and ready to go up, we were in three and a half feet of water,” said Firefighter McConnell. Bailey said the veterinarian was unsure if he would ever recover, but Cowboy is now walking up and down the stairs unassisted.