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Lucky dog rescued from 20-foot cliff above creek in Colorado

Mowgli the yellow lab had gone missing three days before from a campsite near the North Saint Vrain Creek.
Credit: Boulder County Sheriff's Office
Swift water rescue crews rescued Mowgli on Friday from beside the North Saint Vrain Creek. The dog had been missing since Tuesday.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Mowgli is a lucky dog.

The yellow Lab was rescued Friday by swift water rescue teams after she was found on a cliff above North Saint Vrain Creek, where she had likely been stuck since shortly after she went missing three days before.

It started innocently enough. Mowgli went on a camping trip Tuesday with friends of her owners near the Coulson Gulch Trailhead, next to Johnny Park in northwest Boulder County, according to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office. After arriving at the camp site, the dog went exploring on her own.

Mowgli's owners and many of their friends searched for her for three days from Coulson Gulch to North Saint Vrain Creek, until one of the searchers spotted her about 10 a.m. Friday on top of a 20-foot cliff above the creek.

The dog was stranded near a tree on a small section of dry land, surrounded by higher cliffs. Authorities said she likely fell into the creek, climbed out onto that section of land and had been stuck there ever since.

Swift water rescue teams got to work. Given the terrain, they decided the best way to retrieve Mowgli was to rig a rope rescue system across the creek.

That required two rescue swimmers to cross the creek, when the water was calm enough for them to do so, the sheriff's office said. Once across, they hiked down to Mowgli's location and started rigging the rope system.

Once the ropes were in place, they put Mowgli in a dog-rescue harness and attached the harness to the ropes. From there, the rescuers ferried the pooch across the creek and back safely to her owners.

Mowgli was calm throughout the rescue, the sheriff's office said. The rescue was completed about 7 p.m. Friday.

Somehow Mowgli managed to get through the ordeal without injury. The sheriff's office says that without the dedicated search effort, the yellow Lab likely wouldn't have been found in time.

The swift water rescue teams who helped to rescue Mowgli were from the Lyons Fire Protection District, Boulder Emergency Squad and the Boulder Fire Department. They got assistance from sheriff's office deputies and emergency services coordinators.

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