A DOG owner has told of the moment her golden retriever tumbled 104ft from a North Yorkshire viaduct – but somehow survived.
Lola, who is 19 months old, was enjoying her walk when she jumped over the wall of the Nidd Viaduct near Harrogate and into the River Nidd below.
Her owner, Rachel Riley, 31, said it was a “freak accident”, and said: “I thought she was dead.”
Rachel said: “Nothing stopped her, she just jumped over. I can never forgive myself for letting her off the lead.
“A nice walk turned into a nightmare. We chased after her and skidded along the river. We found her half a mile away standing there looking stunned and dazed.”
Rachel, from North Newbald in East Yorkshire, was visiting her cousin, who is also a dog owner, and they had to walk a mile back to the car with their injured pet after the accident on Sunday.
“She had a cut in her leg and we immediately walked her back, and took her to the vet hospital.”
At the hospital Lola had x-rays and the vets discovered she had collapsed lungs, but “amazingly she had not broken a bone”.
She then had emergency surgery to drain the fluid that had built up in her lungs.
“None of us, including the vet, can believe that she even survived the fall,” said Rachel, who was told to “fear the worst”.
But although Lola is still in hospital she is “doing okay”.
Now Rachel is trying to raise awareness about the danger spot. “I have spoken to other dog owners and it has apparently happened before. There were a lot of dogs walking off the lead.
“Owners should be warned to put their dogs on a lead while walking over this viaduct and other viaducts and bridges across the country.”
“Signs should be put up by the councils on these routes. I would hate this to happen to any other dog and for any other owner to witness what we did.”
She thanked those who had come to Lola’s assistance. “I would like to thank everyone who helped, especially the vets for their quick response. They saved my dog’s life.
“I am hoping and keeping everything crossed that she will make a full recovery. She has been so brave and survived so much already.”