Shylee the German shepherd mix is a rescue dog in more ways than one.
The pet pooch fell roughly 25 feet Saturday afternoon over a hard-flowing waterfall in Ramsey Park in Redwood Falls, Minn., and waited in a crevice along the sheer rock wall until a firefighter rappelled down and pulled her to safety.
The dog’s owner, Ronny Fogg, of Hutchinson, Minn., and others shot video as a tethered firefighter descended to Shylee’s perch and clutched the cooperative animal.
Firefighters, other emergency personnel and at least one civilian above then tugged hard on the line of the high-angle rescue apparatus, hoisting the dog back to level ground to cheers and applause from onlookers.
Assistant Redwood Falls fire chief Mike Mohr said that responders quickly determined that a rope rescue would be safe since Shylee was in an area where firefighters normally rappel down.
“The real hero is the dog,” he said. “She made it across the heavy current and made it safely to an area where she could be rescued.”
Well-wishers greeted Shylee upon her rescue, to which she responded with a vigorous shake of her waterlogged 70-pound frame.
Fogg said he and his wife were walking their dogs in the park and decided to let Shylee, adopted as a rescue when just a pup, off her leash on the warm afternoon to get a drink and maybe “get in the water a little bit.”
Just as he was about to put Shylee back on her leash, Fogg said, “the current took her in. We didn’t realize we were that close to the falls.”
Fogg said he didn’t see Shylee’s free fall but soon heard someone say, “ ‘Hey, did you see that dog go over the falls?’ I thought, ‘Oh, man, don’t say that.’”
Next thing he saw was Shylee nestled into the rock just above the foaming and misting water. It was an hour, seemingly longer to Fogg, before Shylee was back in her owner’s arms with nary a scratch.
“Still can’t believe this just happened!” Fogg commented on Instagram, where he posted two snippets from the video he shot. “She went over a waterfall and swam to the rocks. Super Shylee. Thank God!”
Police Chief Jason Cotner said, “I’ve been here seven years, and I recall three other rescues at the falls ... but those were all humans.”
Mohr echoed the same, again praising Shylee’s calm under pressure.
“We were very fortunate that the dog was an excellent victim and maintained a calm and mild demeanor,” he said.