How Heroic Firefighters and a Determined Dog Mom Rescued an Elderly Great Dane Who Seemingly Vanished

·3 min read
Large grey dog sitting in the grass looking at the camera
Large grey dog sitting in the grass looking at the camera

BiancaGrueneberg / Getty

Thanks to the Westport Oregon Fire and Rescue and a very determined dog mom, Presley the Great Dane is alive and well after taking a scary fall down a steep embankment near her home.

On Oct. 10, Sue Clark took her 10-year-old girl outside to do her usual morning business. Clark turned away for "30 seconds," according to her Facebook post, and when she turned back around, says the senior pooch was nowhere to be found.

Searching for hours with no luck, Clark became more and more concerned. Presley's age-related mobility problems and the rural woods surrounding the family home compounded her worry. Clark took to her social media account pleading for help finding her beloved dog, writing, "This is killing my heart."

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Two long days passed with zero leads before a neighbor turned up with some good news. Clark told KPTV, "The neighbor came up and said, 'Is [Presley] wearing a coat?' I said yeah, she said, 'Come with me I want to show you something,'" Clark said. "As soon as she heard my voice, she started barking so I knew she was alive."

But getting to the old girl wasn't exactly easy. Presley, weighing more than 100 pounds, had slid down a 60-foot embankment. She wasn't able to get back up the steep ravine, and had been trapped there for an undetermined amount of time—without food, water, or her devastated owner.

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After spotting Presley, Clark immediately called 911 to help. The dispatcher told her that the fire department doesn't routinely perform canine rescues, but she tells the news station that she "begged him to please ask anybody. He said OK, came back on the phone and he said, 'What's the address? They're going to be on their way.'" Luckily for Clark and sweet Presley, the chief on duty that day agreed to come out and see how they might be able to help—and we're so thankful he did!

The Westport Fire District responded to the scene, and after 45 minutes and help from five people, a stretcher, and ropes, the team successfully rescued Presley. The pooch was "gently carried back up the hill and into her owner's vehicle," according to the fire department, then taken to a local veterinarian to be treated for her injuries.

A week later, Clark commented on the fire department's Facebook announcement of the rescue, writing that the Westport Fire and Rescue team was "amazing!" and that she's "forever grateful" for their help in rescuing her elderly dog. "Thank you will never be enough," Clark writes. The appreciative pet parent also showed her appreciation with a personal visit to the station with Presley, delivering a fresh pie and framed photos of her dog.

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As for Presley's health, she seems to be recovering just fine. According to Clark, her only injuries were severe dehydration, soreness, and exhaustion—thankfully, no broken bones from her fall.

We're so glad that Presley is doing well, and hope this deserving doggo is receiving all the snuggles and belly rubs she can get her paws on. Our hats go off to these first responders for reuniting Clark and Presley after a scary misstep. They're all heroes in our book.

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