A German Shepherd named Diamond went missing last Saturday in Jeremiah, Kentucky, and when a neighbor finally found her, she was in a no-good, very bad place — nearly halfway up a 200-foot-cliff.
Gus Tolliver takes the credit for finding her. He did it with his ears.
“I didn’t locate it the first time it barked, and it had to bark two or three times, and then I said, “Well, that dog is really close,’” he told WYMT.com. “And I just happened to look up on the cliff there and see it.”
Diamond was 50 feet up, stranded. Above her was sheer cliff. Below her was more cliff. There was no way up or down -- or least none that Diamond was willing to take. She was done. She was going to wait this one out.
When firefighters arrived, they planned their strategy. It involved hiking a quarter of a mile to the top of the cliff.
"Our plans were to get up there and repel down to the dog to see if maybe we could get a hold of it to repel it on down," said Fireman Michael Potter.
Potter took the lead on this one. They hiked up. He rappelled down. He approached the dog. Amazingly, it went all to plan. Diamond creeped up to Potter, allowed him to wrap her up in a bear hug and hoist her up, all while perched on the edge of a cliff.
"Once I got there and saw that it was calm and not hurt, I just put it on my chest and rappeled on down with it," said Potter.
The pair descended into a boat -- there was a river under this cliff, to make the rescue that much more difficult. Once on dry land, fighters treated a happy Diamond to a box of kibble.
The dog's owner, Lucy Combs, got a call during the rescue and quickly made her way to the scene.
"We searched all day and somebody said they'd seen her here, and the fire department was here rescuing her," she said.
"So this is my dog, and her name is Diamond, and she's my world."