A cliff-edge LEGXIT
Dexter was risking life and broken limbs to reunite with Bethany...
Tiny pieces of fabric covered my bedroom carpet.
‘What have you done?!’ I yelled at Dexter, my New Zealand huntaway and border collie cross.
A rubber sole hung from his mouth as he peered up.
It was all that remained of my brand-new Converse trainers!
Eight-year-old Dexter, who I’d adopted from a rescue shelter in October 2016, chomped anything.
Forget bones and chew sticks – he liked to munch on mattresses and bed covers!
But I could never be mad at my mischievous mutt for long.
A quick droop of those fluffy ears and he’d won me over.
Dexter was never naughty on walks, though.
He’d venture off, but always came back when he was called.
Then, on an afternoon in
March 2018, with my pal, Elliot, 23, I took him to a new spot. A cliff and beach that was only a short bus ride away.
Around 10 minutes in, he disappeared into the long grass. I stood and waited.
I shouted his name over and over. Nothing.
‘Where could he be?’ I said to Elliot. ‘He always comes back!’ We searched the cliff, frantically. But the steps leading down to the bottom were a mile away, and it was getting dark.
‘You need to come home,’ said my gran, Susan, 58, on the phone as it reached midnight. Crying, I got the bus. But the next morning, at 6am, I headed back out.
Some family friends, Steven and Madeline, joined in the hunt, bringing their dog, Deefer. They lived a few minutes from the cliff, and knew the way down to the beach.
As we reached the bottom, Deefer barked.
‘Dexter’s in the rocks!’ shouted Madeline.
Running over, I saw streaks of blood.
He wasn’t moving. He was at the bottom of the 130ft drop. His front paw twisted upwards. ‘Please don’t be dead,’ I sobbed. As I got closer, his tail twitched. I collapsed next to him, relieved.
Gran called the fire brigade from home, wary about us carrying Dexter’s fragile body up the steps.
They arrived 10 minutes later with a stretcher.
They carried Dexter up to the cliff, where Gran met us in her car.
Soon, we were at Wear Referrals, a vet hospital in Bradbury.
‘Dexter’s broken both of his front legs,’ said a vet.
I winced in horror at the X-ray.
‘He must have been in so much pain,’ I sobbed.
But the bill to insert metal plates to fuse Dexter’s bones and wrists was £6,000.
‘We can’t afford that!’ Gran said. We set up a Gofundme page. Within 24 hours, it reached £1,500.
So Gran bit the bullet, and Dexter went in for surgery.
I’ll be paying her off till
I’m a pensioner!
But it was worth it.
After a few weeks, Dexter was zooming across our living room – though it’s more of a bunny hop now – for a corned beef pie!
And he’s back to his usual self, chomping on my bedspread!
legs Dexter’s two front were shattered I’m so grateful to have him back in one piece
He had to be stretchered off the beach