IT’S USUALLY cats that are said to have nine lives, but a Jack Russell puppy could give most cats a run for their money in the death-defying stakes after surviving a 70ft fall down a sheer cliff followed by a mile-long swim through strong currents across a busy shipping lane.
The dog was rescued by a Ministry of Defence police launch after council workers, who saw it fall, alerted the emergency services.
The owners of six-month-old Toby thought they would never see their pet again when he ran off after being scared by the sound of gunfire from a nearby Royal Marine barracks and plunged off the cliff at Devil's Point in Plymouth, Devon.
The MoD launch tracked the terrier as he made his way across Plymouth Sound and eventually caught up with the puppy a mile away. He was perched, wet and shivering, on a rock near Torpoint in Cornwall.
The MoD police wrapped the bedraggled dog in a blanket, before returning him to his grateful owners, David and Sandra Lee.
Mr Lee, 44, a welder from Plymouth said "He must have thought that it was just a wall without knowing there was a drop of 70 feet on the other side.''
Toby, meanwhile, seems unaffected by his derring-do adventure, although his owners are keeping him away from the cliff edge in future – just in case.