Louis the naughty spaniel survives 300ft plunge down waterfall

Louis was shaken up after his ordeal in Scotland (Picture: SWNS)

A waterfall-chasing dog who survived a 300ft plunge on his first hill walk has been told he will only be doing flat hikes from now on.

Louis, a naughty 15-month-old Springer spaniel, miraculously survived the fall in Scotland – but his owners Helen McKean and husband David had feared he was dead for around 45 minutes.

Their pet vanished while out at Grey Mares Tail waterfall near Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway on Wednesday, April 14 – and it was when Louis started barking that they realised he was alive.

Following the 12.30pm fall, Helen, 55, and David, 56, faced an agonising five-hour wait for him to be saved by Mountain Rescue.

Louis was said to be ‘wagging his tail like mad’ when he was reunited with the pair, but badly shaken up, while mother-of-three Helen was in tears.

She explained: ‘He ran about 50 yards away from us to the edge of the waterfall, then started coming back before he caught a scent, and started wandering over to the edge of the cliff again.

‘Then he disappeared.

Louis was put in a rucksack and lifted to safety (Picture: SWNS)
Moffat Mountain Rescue Team were on hand to save the young dog (Picture: SWNS)
It was a difficult climb at the Grey Mares Tail waterfall to reach the 15-month old pup (Picture: SWNS)
Louis was comforted by his rescuers before being reunited with his owners (Picture: SWNS)

‘I thought he had fallen down the waterfall and feared the worst. But then a wave of relief poured over me when I heard his bark.

‘My husband looked down and spotted him on a ledge having fallen 300 feet. Another 300 feet drop was below the ledge.’

The retired nurse continued: ‘It’s hard because you’re hearing him but can’t get to him.

‘We didn’t know if he was injured or not.’

She had walked back to the car park to get phone signal and ring for help.

The Moffat Mountain Rescue team responded and were on the scene just after 1pm, using ropes and climbing equipment to reach Louis.

Louis on a less stressful day (Picture: SWNS)
Owner Helen McKean was in tears when Louis emerged (Picture: SWNS)
Louis is now banned from hill walks (Picture: SWNS)

Two of his rescuers climbed up the waterfall from the left-hand side, and once in a good enough position guided three others up the waterfall on the right-hand side.

The first to reach Louis arrived at 4.40pm and made sure to comfort the dog him before getting him into a rucksack and lifting him up to safety.

Louis was said to be ‘timorous’ after the ordeal but delighted to be returned to his owners, who have had him for a year.

Helen said: ‘It was amazing when we got him.

‘He was wagging his tail like mad, and I was in tears.

‘The first thing he did was gobble some food down.

‘Louis is none the wiser but we’re shaken up from the whole incident.

‘Future walks will be flat walks. That was his first hill walk, and that will be his last.

‘So flat walks for the rest of his life.’

On the moment Louis was rescued, she said: ‘When they reached him they said he was distressed, and when he walked down the hill he seemed very timorous.

‘He walked down the hill with the rescue team, which was amazing.

‘We’re so thankful to the mountain rescue team, they were marvellous – very calming.’

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