Veteran, Sh Ch Helmstar Hot Flush, Michelle Nuttall’s 10-year-old Weimaraner, had a narrow escape recently after surviving a 40foot horror fall into an icy river littered with boulders.
Ashla was out walking in some local woods when she disappeared around a corner and vanished ober a small wall, oblivious to the fact that on the other side was a drop which would have killed almost any dog - or human - that stepped over it. Ashla did, however, and plunged into the River Roch below.
Michelle said: “My first thought was that she had to be dead. I looked down and she was just lying there, then I saw all the rocks and just thought she couldn’t have survived it. I don’t know how I managed but I just knew I had to get down to her..and somehow I did manage to get my way down, though looking back i suppose it was really dangerous!
‘I carried her about a quarters of a mile to the car and from there got her straight to the emergency vets: I just couldn’t believe that she was still alive! Obviosly the first thing the vets did was to put her under heavy sedation and some painkillers. She was x-rayed and, unbelievably, didn’t have one broken bone. There was some muscle damage and the vets warned me that the next few hours would be crucial, as she may have suffered from internal damage and bleeding.
‘A couple of days later, apart from some severe bruising, which i could literally see right through her coat, she was declared fit and well and seemed none the worse for her fall.’
Even better was to come, as Ashla managed to make it to The national, where she won Best Veteran Gundog, which included £75 and a bottle of champagne. Michelle told us: "I’m absolutely over the moon with the result. I didn’t think she’d ever be able to run again, let alone go in a show. We had a great day. Ashla loved being in the competitive environment. She was wagging her tail the whole time and flirting with a golden retriever in the ring."
Michelle, who runs the Bathtime Treat dog grooming centre in Heywood, near Manchester, slept beside Ashla on the kitchen floor for five nights to nurse her through her recovery.
She added: ‘The judges commented on how agile she was, but little did they know what had happened to her. She’s done absolutely remarkably.’
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Must be a Weimaraner trait! My old girl Sh Ch Mabanika Moonage Daydream of Robricci (now almost 11yrs) did something similar in 2006 when she was almost 8yrs old. We were in Ireland on our way home after the Munster Circuit when she leapt over a wall as she could see the sea but didn't realise the 15ft drop on the other side. She landed on the rocky beach stunned but apart from some minor scrapes she was unharmed. 2 weeks later she went on to win the Veteran Stakes at Richmond on Gundog day and reserve overall.