A dog named Doc Holliday is back to training with his owner after a scary fall and an entire night of being stuck on the ledge of a cliff in Pueblo County.
"I was a little nervous," said Earl Wood, who trains Doc and Doc's sisters for hunting. "They're big-time athletes and I've seen them in predicaments. But I've never seen this."
On Thursday, Wood took Doc and two other dogs out to the Pueblo Reservoir area for a training exercise. But when Doc didn't come back from a run, Wood went to look for him. "I walked over to the cliff, and there he was on the ledge straight below us."
Doc had slipped off the edge of the cliff, and landed on a three-foot-wide ledge 60-feet down, which was halfway between the top and the bottom. Wood knew he wouldn't be able to get to Doc, so he called the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office Animal Rescue. But by then, night was setting in. "It was getting dark by the time we got to where we could repel," said Wood. "And we really didn't want to risk a life at that point, and I was sure that Doc would be all right for the night."
So Doc stayed on the ledge, for a total of 18 hours, before rescuers could repel down to save him the next morning. "They're the real heroes here," said Wood of the sheriff's deputies, including Dylan Jacketta, who repelled down the cliff to save Doc.
“It’s nice to help out whenever we can," said Jacketta after the rescue. "Even in this type of call we get to practice, resourcefulness, technique, and skill. Plus we get to reunite two good friends.”
By the weekend, Doc was back to training with Wood, unharmed after his ordeal. Wood thinks Doc has a future as a hunting dog in Montana. "He's very hyper, very fast, very strong and very athletic," said Wood. "And he'll do good on the eastern plains of Montana."
Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Services Bureau has a Search and Rescue component on their volunteer team. In addition, citizens can volunteer for fire, dive, victim advocate, courier, civilian patrol, explorer scout or reserve deputy. If citizens are interested in volunteering at the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office they can call 719.583.6204.