FOR three days and nights a loved dog survived on a cliff with no shelter from the harsh Atlantic elements.
Shandon's distraught owner, David O'Connor (69) was above the steep drop yesterday where he could hear his beloved pet but couldn't see him.
Shandon, the two-and-a-half-year-old beagle, had belonged to Mr O'Connor's son, Dan (36) who died in August from cancer.
Shandon had run off chasing a goat while out walking with Mr O'Connor on the Fogher Cliffs in Valentia Island in Co Kerry on Saturday.
"I was very worried about him but even more worried someone else would fall off the cliff looking for him," his relieved owner told the Herald.
Shandon was found in a crevice on the cliff face approximately 150 metres down and was in a lot of distress because he couldn't make his way back up.
He was rescued by seven volunteers from the Knightstown Coastguard Unit, who had been contacted by Suzanne Gibbons from the Animal Heaven Animal Rescue (AHAR) charity in Castleisland. Ms Gibbons had threatened to scale the cliff face herself to rescue the dog because she was told the coastguard could only come to the rescue of people.
Knightstown Coastguard volunteer Anthony O'Sullivan managed to climb down and enter the crevice and was able to hand the dog out to fellow volunteer Pat O'Driscoll.
The RNLI Lifeboat provided assistance from the sea. They then put a rope round the dog's neck and led him back up to the top of the cliff where he was reunited with his owner.
Shandon didn't seem any worse for wear after his ordeal.
"I'll take him home now and then he can spend the night in front of the fire," his owner said.