on the Edge…
and Jack ran excitedly up to the top of the escarpment and
gazed out over the deep blue ocean waves as they rolled in
from the east.
sun was just appearing over the horizon, the cool sea
breeze on her face made her feel completely alive, and
Kimberley was as contented as she had ever been.
time she spent with Jack, the 3 year old German shepherd
she had rescued from the animal shelter a few months
earlier, was the most precious part of her life. He seemed
to know just what she was thinking and was devoted to Kim
to the point of being a fanatic.
wouldn’t leave her side…unlike most of the other male
companions she had previously had in her life.
was the perfect companion
gave her unconditional love, he was always there for her
when she needed to talk to someone, he lavished his
undivided attention on her, he never spoke back, and was
always waiting patiently for her when she came home from
her work at the pharmacy.
early morning walks they shared helped her forget the many
troubles in her life, and allowed her just enjoy herself.
morning was special.
was on the first day of her annual two-week vacation, and
had plans to take Jack up to the mountains hiking and
camping for a few days later in the week.
thought of getting away from the pressures of daily life
made her feel a rush of adrenaline and Jack could sense
her excitement, yelping and barking playfully as they
frolicked in the grass at the top of the ridge.
played for over half an hour, then turned to head for home
to have something to eat.
it was the excitement of it all, but for whatever reason,
Kimberly wasn’t thinking straight as she undid Jack’s
leash to let him run on his own through the grassy fields
as they descended the hill towards the township below.
happened in an instant.
caught sight of a rabbit hiding in the grass and took off
after the animal in a frenzied rush of excitement and
called him back, but he was totally focused on catching
the rabbit and heard nothing but the creature’s cries
for help as it raced towards the safety of its borough.
was a beautiful sight to behold as he chased the rabbit in
full flight across the grassy field. Every second he
gained on the small creature, until he was only 10 feet
behind it and closing fast.
Kim was looking on in horror.
rabbit had built its borough close to the edge of the
cliff, and Jack was running at full speed towards the huge
drop down to the ocean below.
could feel the fear welling up inside her and she
frantically called him back as she ran towards the cliff
top herself. “Stop Jack!”, she cried, but he paid no
attention to her commands as he chased the rabbit towards
the cliff top.
6 feet short of the cliff’s edge, the rabbit dropped
into the safety of it’s home below
didn’t see where the animal went, and in the few seconds
it took for him to realize that the rabbit had escaped,
his momentum carried him off the cliff and over the edge.
screamed as she saw her beloved companion disappear out of
sight. “No!” she cried as she ran headlong towards the
jagged cliff top.
peered over the edge with tears streaming down her cheeks,
fearing that her best friend had fallen all the way to the
moved closer to the edge screaming out to Jack, praying
that by some miracle, he had survived.
she lay down to look over the edge, she saw Jack wedged
precariously next to a tree stump on a small outcrop about
20 feet below, injured, but alive.
he had gone off the cliff just 3 feet either side of where
he did, he would have fallen hundreds of feet to the rocks
below. His life had been spared, at least at the moment,
by the narrowest of margins.
huge feeling of relief welled up through Kimberley’s
body as she saw that Jack was still alive.
pulled out her mobile phone and called the police.
quickly explained what had happened to the officer on the
line and a team of rescue workers were dispatched to the
cliff top to rescue Jack.
watched on with trepidation as the rescue team carefully
winched her beloved Jack to safety from the outcrop that
had saved his life.
had broken his left rear leg and had some cuts and
abrasions, but on the whole, he was a very lucky dog that
day…and Kimberley knew it.
looked towards the sky and gave thanks that her best
friend had been spared.
promised herself that as soon as Jack was back on four
legs, she would start to train him to obey her commands so
that something like this could never happen again.
felt guilty that her neglect at not training him properly
from the start could have cost this beautiful animal his
life. She felt sad but also happy that she had been given
another chance with Jack, and she wasn’t about to waste
and Jack are again able to take their early morning walks,
but now, Jack’s lead is an option.
obeys Kimberley’s every command, and they have a deep,
new found respect for each other’s abilities that goes
far beyond their roles of dog and master. They are truly
you don’t take your dog
for off leash walks near cliff tops, but there are lots of
hazards just as dangerous around your home that can cause
your favourite pet to hurt himself…or worse.
into moving traffic, drinking something poisonous around
your home, jumping the fence and getting into fights with
other dogs…these are all situations that proper training
can severely restrict or eliminate.
for a moment of how you would feel if your wonderful pet
was injured or killed by a car right in front of you
because he ran out onto the road despite your calls for
him to come back.
is vital for every pet so that they know what is expected
of them and they stay safe in an increasingly dangerous
world. And properly training your pet is your
take the time to train your dog
if you haven't done so already. If you don’t know where
to start, there are plenty of good books around to help.
option is to take your dog
to obedience classes in your local area.
is the most focused training you can give your dog (and
yourself…) but it’s also the most time consuming and
you have the time and financial resources, it’s usually
the best way (if you can find a good trainer), but if you
don’t, then reading either of these eBooks will give you
a solid grounding on how to train your canine
him well, and he will reward you for it in so many ways
that you can’t imagine.
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