Eyal Hadash thought it would be just another Sunday morning walk with his dog, Simba, as they headed to an overlook of the Machtesh Ramon crater in Israel's Negev Desert.
But very quickly, the day took a dramatic turn, with a 100-foot drop off a cliff and the intervention of a search-and-rescue team and paramedics.
Hadash told TheBlaze Tuesday that he feels blessed that Simba is alive today, and that he's grateful to the first responders who rescued his 2-year-old dog.
“He loves to jump and to jump over fences. We’re new to the area so we’d never been to that path that overlooks the crater,” Hadash told TheBlaze by telephone from his home in the Negev Desert area of southern Israel. “We got there, I got off of my bike. We walked to the promenade to take a look. Then, he started running and jumped over a fence of stones and disappeared from my view.”
“At first I was in total shock. He disappeared, and there was total silence,” Hadash recounted. “I found a path to go down to the crater and look for him.”
As he descended, he called emergency services, who managed to pull off the rescue.
Moti Elmaliach, a spokesman for the United Hatzalah, an all-volunteer rescue crew, called the dog’s extraction “complicated.” It required rappelling down ropes and moving Simba back up the steep incline while he was tied to a stretcher.
"When we arrived we saw Simba lying at the foot of the cliff. He fell from a great height,” said paramedic Adam Sela who directed the rescue. “We slid down to him carefully and found him exhausted and bruised. He couldn’t stand on his feet and was howling in pain.”
“We decided to rescue him on a basket stretcher so he could lie inside. We didn’t want him to jump off the stretcher out of pain, so I called a veterinarian to consult how much sedation to give Simba,” Sela recalled. “We treat people and didn’t know what dose a dog should get."
Once secured and sedated, the operation still wasn’t over.
“It was not easy,” Sela said. “We climbed up the steep slope in the oppressive midday heat, but when we got back up, we saw Eyal the dog owner’s immense joy, he didn’t stop thanking us."
From there, Simba went to a veterinary hospital, where his Hadash was told that he had suffered internal bleeding but — miraculously — had not one broken bone.
“Considering the fall he had and how far he fell two days ago, he’s in incredible shape,” Hadash told TheBlaze, adding that Simba was still licking the wound on his leg.
“It’s not clear how he didn’t break a bone after taking a 30-meter [100-foot] fall,” Hadash marveled.
“It was a miracle. That Simba is alive is a miracle. We are very closely connected to each other. He’s been with me since he was a month old. He’s like my son. No, he is my son,” Hadash said.
Simba is now on antibiotics and will need rehabilitation therapy.
It's actually not the first time Simba has found himself incredibly lucky: He was found abandoned and wandering the street when he was just 3 weeks old. Hadash found him at an animal shelter two years ago, and they’ve been together ever since.
(H/T: Arutz Sheva)