A plucky dog has won a pet survival award after cheating death in a 60ft fall down a concrete dam and making a miracle recovery.
Darcy, a two-year-old Cocker Spaniel, was on a walk with her owners, Gordon and Wendy Lyon, when she jumped a five-foot wall this summer.
But she ended up falling down the concrete slipway at Glascarnoch Dam, Ross and Cromarty, Highlands, and suffered multiple horrifying life-threatening injuries.
These included a ruptured spleen, damaged liver, air leaking into her chest, fractured pelvis, a fractured and dislocated front leg and a complex open fracture to her back leg and hip joint.
The poor pooch received emergency surgery at a local vet to save her life, before going to Parkside Vets in Dundee for three more operations.
Her recovery has been described as “miraculous” by her vets, as even with further treatment and rehab, it was unlikely she would ever walk again.
But following months of intense hydrotherapy, physiotherapy and acupuncture, she started is now up and running again.
And to cap off her recovery, Darcy, from Kellas near Dundee, was crowned animal charity PDSA’s survivor of the year.
Gordon said: “Darcy has come through such a traumatic experience, and our huge thanks go to all the people, too numerous to mention, who have helped her along the way.
“We’re beyond delighted that she has now won such a prestigious award, particularly against such worthy competition.
“Thanks to all who voted for Darcy to be named PDSA Pet Survivor 2016.”
And, describing the moment Darcy jumped, Wendy said: “We’ve walked there many times and she’s never done anything like that before. We have no idea why she suddenly decided to jump.
“We heard her ‘scream’ and then silence; we expected the worst and ran to look over the wall. Incredibly, she survived the fall and was looking up at us. We could see she was badly injured.
“We were absolutely distraught as we couldn’t reach her. It took a while for the fire brigade to arrive as we were in the middle of nowhere.
“When the fireman brought her up, hypothermia was setting in and she was slipping in and out of consciousness, but she still managed to nuzzle his cheek.”
Vet Hal Drummond, who carried out Darcy’s emergency surgery at Conanvet in Dingwall, said: “When we first saw Darcy after her accident I was uncertain she would survive, and even then it wasn’t guaranteed that she would ever walk again.
“To see her running around now is nothing short of miraculous. She is an incredibly brave, sweet-natured dog, and everyone who has helped in Darcy’s recovery is delighted that she’s won PDSA Pet Survivor.”
Wendy added: “Darcy’s vets were extraordinary, they really went above and beyond for her.
“The treatment has cost thousands of pounds, thankfully her insurance has covered a lot of that although we have still had to pay for some parts of her rehab. The costs do mount up, but when we see her happy and running again it’s totally worth it.”