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Whippet Safe After Quarry Fall During U.K. Welsh Kennel Club

A Whippet is recovering at home after escaping from a caravan at Welsh Kennel Club Ch show and falling into a 90ft deep quarry filled with water and silt.

Clive and Barbara Pugh’s Rearsbylea Starlite at Ishkamun (Mab) managed to get out of a partly-open but fastened window and run into the showground where attempts to catch her failed.

The show committee put out alerts over the loudspeaker but Mr and Mrs Pugh who were showing two Whippets, a puppy and a four-year-old, did not think it could be eight-year-old Mab, whom they always leave in the caravan with their 14-year-old Saluki while they show their dogs.

After running around the showground for a while, Mab got out onto the main Builth Wells road, and after running for about a mile found her way up a steep hill above the quarry before falling 30ft into it.

Luckily WKC’s head of security was on the case having followed her as best he could from the showground. Mr Pugh is not sure who dialled 999 and summoned the fire brigade, but by the time the head of security arrived Mab was paddling furiously in the water, and scrabbling desperately at the rocks unable to get out.

Three-hour ordeal  
A little while later firemen arrived, launched dinghies and brought her safely to shore. It was nearly three hours from the time she escaped until she was in safe hands once again. Her only injuries were cut and bruised pads and general stiffness.

“We’ve left Mab and our elderly Saluki – who are both retired from the show ring – many times over a three-year period, and never had a problem before, so when we heard the announcement we didn’t dream it was her,” Mr Pugh said. “She never does that kind of thing and I’ve no idea what made her do it this time. She must have managed to push away what was securing the window, so we will have to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

“After showing our puppy but before post graduate we realised it was Mab who had escaped, and spoke to the head of security who was very, very good. He told us what had happened, so we drove up in my car to pick her up.

“I think she must have been running very fast, panicked, and then fell over the cliff and into the water. I don’t know who saw her there first but I know the head of security and other people from WKC followed her and saw her running along the main road before she went out of sight.

“We were so shocked and worried, and are only just getting over it now really. We really thought we’d lost her. We were meant to be staying at the showground for a few days and then going on somewhere else, but it shook us up so much we came home.

Cut pads
 The quarry lake is about 90ft deep, a third of which is silt, and surrounded by rock.

”Mab was very, very lucky – and so are we,” Mr Pugh said. “Apart from her cut pads which are healing now and the fact she is very stiff from running such a long way and struggling to get out of the water, she is absolutely fine. We are so grateful to everyone who helped. We’re so glad we got her back.”

Reprinted from our partner newspaper, Dog World-UK.

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  • Mary Beth McManus September 3, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Another case for the need to secure dogs in appropriate cage or travel kennels when traveling (moving or parked). Glad the whippet is ok and hope the owners get the message – it only takes once! Sorry, I’m just not a fan of leaving dogs alone at a dog show in a car or van (even with open windows). Being an exhibitor who lives in florida, I am cognizant that it’s much too dangerous leaving dogs alone unattended weather-wise and there’s always the risk of theft (animal rights or other) unless you have a motorhome, etc. In Canada exhibitors can bring dogs not entered into the show area as an “exhibit only” for a fee, of course. They have smaller shows and usually there’s enough space to do so. Don’t know if UK or FCI have such an entry classification, and allowing un-entered dogs into show area probably won’t ever happen with AKC. Better choice would be hire a sitter and leave them at home. JMO.

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