Dog rescued after falling 250 feet down slope

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

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Maggie, a 90-pound Bernese mountain dog, was rescued Monday morning by a crew of North Country EMS rescuers.

She was assisted up a 250-foot embankment in Skamania County’s Cougar area, North Country Chief Ben Peeler said.

A Nederland, Colo., woman was driving along Forest Service Road 90 east of Cougar on a cross-country road trip Monday when she stopped at mile post 5 at 8:30 a.m. to let her two dogs out to stretch. The dogs ran into the forest along the road to chase something and went over an embankment.

The owner was able to call one dog, a St. Bernard, back to her and onto the road. However, Maggie kept going and got stuck down a 250-foot embankment. The woman worked for a couple of hours on her own, trying to get Maggie back to the road, but was unsuccessful.

She flagged down a couple of Forest Service workers who were driving by. Jerry Hall of the Forest Service radioed North Country EMS Rescue 3, stationed in Pine Creek, which responded with three workers. Skamania County sheriff’s Deputy George Barker arrived on scene and two more crew members from North Country’s Yacolt station assisted as well.

The first half of the embankment wasn’t steep and crews were able to use a rope to descend the embankment. For the second half, crews set up a dual-rope raising system.

The owner had a shoulder harness for the dog, so they strapped Maggie into the raising system and assisted her up the embankment. She did not suffer major injuries and was reunited with her owner, Peeler said.

“This is a great example of how multiple agencies can work together to achieve a common goal. We were very happy to reunite Maggie with her owner so they can continue on their cross-country journey,” Barker said.