2 Dogs Survive Giant Plummets Off Cliff, Building
One falls 150 feet, the other 15 stories
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 27, 2014 2:05 PM CST
John Thoeni, left, begins his descent to save Sandy, a yellow Labrador who got spooked on a Christmas Day hike.   (AP Photo/Emily Amsler)
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(Newser) – We may be looking at a pair of Christmas miracles. In recent days, not one but two dogs have survived enormous drops, one from a 150-foot-high cliff and another from the 15th story of a building. Sandy, a 3-year-old yellow Lab, was somehow spooked during a walk in the Columbia Gorge in Oregon on Christmas. She ripped her leash and ran, falling down the cliff, the AP reports. When owner David Schelske made his way to the bottom, he spotted her some 70 feet above him on a ledge. Thank goodness for John Thoeni, a volunteer with the Humane Society, who rappelled to the ledge with help from a crew of eight people. When he arrived, he attached a rescue harness to Sandy and brought her to safety.

Sam, a 13-year-old Boston terrier, can't see very well, and when he was home alone, he fell off a balcony belonging to one of Sacramento's tallest buildings. The good news: He landed in a hot tub. "He actually went down all 15 stories into the hot tub," says his owner, Bill McCourt. It was all caught on surveillance video. "The dog, when he goes into hot tub, he hits it almost dead center and then he starts swimming immediately, instinctually, in the hot tub to try to find his way out," which he was able to do, McCourt says. Sam has a fractured pelvis and ribs, but he's due to come home from the hospital soon, vets tell CBS Sacramento. Not long ago, a labradoodle had a similar experience.