'Miracle' dalmation survives 100 foot cliff fall at Exmouth

PUBLISHED: 15:11 10 June 2010 | UPDATED: 11:32 18 June 2010

Poppy, left, survived after falling off the cliffs at Exmouth

Poppy, left, survived after falling off the cliffs at Exmouth

Copyright Archant Ltd

The owners of a 'miracle' Dalmatian dog who survived after plummeting 100 foot off cliffs at Exmouth to the beach below have spoken of their pet's horror-fall.

The owners of a 'miracle' Dalmatian dog who survived after plummeting 100 foot off cliffs at Exmouth to the beach below have spoken of their pet's horror-fall, writes Becca Gliddon.

Lesley Blackburn, 36, from Merseyside, had been walking her dad's dog, five-year-old Poppy, along the cliffs at Orcombe when the much-loved pet slipped off the cliffs near the Geo needle.

Lesley, staying at Devon Cliffs Holiday Park with her dad, Leslie Blackburn, 74, nephew, Kane, nine, her brother and Dalmatians Poppy and Molly, four, was stunned when she summoned up the courage look over the cliff to find the dog alive on the beach below.

She said: "It was just an accident but I was really upset. I was convinced we would have to get her put down. I don't know how she could survive such a big drop.

"It's a miracle she's alive. I didn't want to look. When I finally looked, I saw her scurrying around.

"When I saw her behind it was red I thought it was blood and screamed, but it was soil.

"She doesn't like being away from us and she was panicking, trying to work out how to get back to us.

"I have never seen her like that. She was shaken and every time she tried to walk she just sat down.

"She's quite clumsy and not very bright, but she's lovely."

Owner Leslie said his pet was 'on the mend' and had eaten and been out for a short walk since her ordeal.

Lesley had been walking both dogs along the coastal path from Exmouth to Sandy Bay when the wanderlust took Poppy into nearby bushes on the hunt for rabbits.

When she failed to reappear, Lesley thought she was busy sniffing.

Investigating further, she noticed her dad's pet had gone - and feared the worst.

Summoning up the courage, she peered over the cliffs and saw Poppy had fallen down the cliff.

Desperate to reach the shocked dog, Lesley - with a reluctant Molly in tow - made a dash for the steps that lead down to the beach.

When she reached Poppy the dazed dog was unable to walk and kept sitting down.

Trapped on the beach without her mobile phone, and fearing the dog was injured, Lesley was helped by a member of the public who phoned the coastguard.

Exmouth coastguard team took the shaken pet back to the family's caravan.

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