Thursday, July 27, 2006

Beware of Falling Dogs

Another article I could not resist:

A man was bruised but alive on Wednesday after a Saint Bernard dog thrown out a two-story window landed on him as he was walking down the street in the southern-Polish city of Sosnowiec.

The 50-kg (110-pound) dog was pushed out of the window by its drunken owner on Monday, police said.

"The dog had a soft landing because it fell on a man," said police spokesman Grzegorz Wierzbicki. "The dog escaped with just a few scratches."

"The man was also more in a psychological state of shock than physically hurt," Wierzbicki added.

The one-year-old dog, named Oskar, was placed in an animal shelter while police investigate its owners for animal abuse.

Comment: St. Bernards are supposed to be helpful dogs. Jeez, could there be a worse choice of dog to fall on your head? I think anyone would sound drunk if they tried to say the name of that policeman.

I thought this was humorous, but then I did a Google search on "falling dog" and I found some other amazing stories:

From the New Zealand Herald:
A dog fell from a Detroit highway overpass and crashed through a car windshield, fatally injuring the driver.

Charles Jetchick, 81, died on Wednesday of injuries suffered in the weekend accident.

Investigators do not believe the Labrador-retriever was thrown, but rather fell while trying to avoid a car. "We've had rocks and other stuff like that fall off of overpasses", said Sergeant Michael Shaw who has been with the Michigan State Police for 11 years. "This would be the first dog we've had."

Comment: What happened to the dog? Why are they writing about this stuff in New Zealand? What is that dog doing out of Labrador?
Then from the BBC:
A golden Labrador had an incredible escape when she fell more than 90 feet from a cliff into a pile of seaweed.

Five-year-old Tessa was being walked by owners Alan and Jill Mitchell near Old Harry Rocks in Dorset, when she raced off into the undergrowth.

It was only a few minutes later when she did not return that the Mitchells realized she must have plunged down the sheer cliff to the beach below.

After calling 999, an anxious wait followed before Tessa was checked out by a vet who confirmed that her only injury was a bruised leg.

The couple, from Harrow, north London, were out walking with Mrs Mitchell's sister on Sunday afternoon, with whom they were staying in Broadstone, Dorset.

Jill Mitchell told BBC News Online: "We were on a lane with heavy undergrowth, so didn't know that we were near a cliff edge.

"She shot off into the undergrowth - I assume she caught the scent of something.
"When she didn't come back my sister said: 'She must have gone over the cliff' and I just thought she couldn't have done.

"We pushed through the undergrowth and saw the edge of this cliff and I just felt awful - then I heard her whimpering.

"My husband ran around and could see her staggering around on the beach - over 90 feet down.

We get a lot of dogs going over cliffs - especially in the summer, quite often they chase after rabbits and just can't stop Coastguard spokesman

Comment: Since when has the coastguard been experts on dogs and gravity? They get a lot of dogs going over cliffs? Nobody told me about this! No more ball playing on the rim of the Grand Canyon, I guess.

From Florence, AL:
A house painter has become a dog catcher, literally. Gary Gallien was working on a crew painting an apartment complex in Florence, Alabama, when he caught a pooch falling from a fifth-floor balcony.

He says as he stepped outside, he heard a woman scream and looked up. A white, furry object was falling toward him. He says he caught the small dog like it was a football.

He took the dog back up to the fifth floor and set it loose. Gallien says he just wishes someone with a camcorder had caught his dog-catching on tape, for one of those funny home video TV shows.
Comment: Good thing it wasn't a St. Bernard!
So what's all this then? I could make a joke about "raining cats and dogs," but I won't. I could joke about the "dog days of summer," but that wouldn't be right. So what is this with all of these dogs falling? I know we have joked about alcoholic habits of animals, but this is more "dogs and physics!"

OK, one more to give the other side of the story:

AKRON, Ohio (USA) — We've had a lot of falling dog stories lately, so maybe it's about time we report on a klutzy human for a change.

Kevin McDonald was on the job painting a home in Akron last week when the ladder that was supporting him gave way, dropping him from the roof about 12 feet to the ground. There, the wounded man lay critically injured and bleeding.

NewsChannel5 reports that the homeowner was away at the time; however, the family dog, a Golden Retriever, was there and watched the entire episode. Next-door neighbor Marie Istvan describes how the fast-acting pooch ran to her house and enlisted her help.

"He acted real funny like there was something wrong," says Ms. Istvan.

After following the dog back to the other house, she found Mr. McDonald laying in a pool of blood and barely moving. The woman called for help right away.

Due to the quick response, emergency personnel arrived on the scene in enough time to treat the injured man. After two days at the hospital, he was released in good condition and, after thanking Ms. Istvan and the dog for saving his life, he returned to work.