12:00pm Wednesday 7th March 2012
By James Tourgout
MARLEY the lurcher dog had a lucky escape when he chased a rabbit off the edge of a 100ft cliff at West Bay.
The energetic dog instinctively sprinted up the side of the sloping cliff after picking up the scent of the small creature.
Owner Stephanie Hart, 32, desperately tried to call Marley back but he jumped straight over the edge of the cliff a third of the way up.
He plunged about 30ft on to the shingle beach below where Stephanie and her three children watched in horror.
She tended the wounded pet and a good samaritan drove them to a nearby vets.
Luckily Marley suffered only cuts and bruises and is now being nursed back to health by Stephanie and husband Richard, 32, at their home in West Chinnock, near Crew-kerne, Somerset.
Stephanie said they had taken Marley for a walk at West Bay when the accident happened.
She said: “We were on the beach for a walk and had been there for five or 10 minutes when it happened.
“Marley suddenly shot up the grass slope on the side of the cliff. It was so steep but he got up it in such speed, he’s very fast.
“There were quite a few rabbit burrows there and the vet suspects that it was a rabbit or a hare that Marley either saw or picked up the scene of.
“His previous owner used to let him go chasing rabbits so it’s in his instinct.
“He’s definitely got a sense for them, most greyhounds and lurchers do.
“There would have been no other reason for him to run off.
“A kind lady saw Marley fall and came offered some help.
“I believe her friend drove us there. I am so grateful that Marley is alright.
“We’ve had him for 18 months and I couldn’t imagine being without him. I feel guilty and wish I had never let him off the lead but there were so many dogs on the beach and not one I saw on their lead.
“People let their dogs off but it just takes that one second to get a scent and it overrules. It’s their natural instinct.”
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