Dog Believed Dead Is Found During Her Memorial Service

“We were just hysterically crying. We were all just devastated,” Simmons said. “We thought we’d all just witnessed the worst thing: your dog falling off a cliff.”


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When Gracie plunged 200 feet over a cliff in Oregon on Sunday, her stunned owner believed she was certainly dead.  She and her friends and family were holding a memorial on the trail when a hiker told them that Gracie was alive!

Michelle Simmons was hiking near Punchbowl Falls along the Columbia River Gorge with her kids, friends, and Labradoodle Gracie on Sunday.  Gracie was romping about with another dog and toppled over the edge of the cliff.

“We were just hysterically crying. We were all just devastated,” Simmons said.  “We thought we’d all just witnessed the worst thing: your dog falling off a cliff.”

Gracie fell 200 feet, presumably to her tragic demise.

“We heard her land and let out this yelp. Then we didn’t hear anything after that.”

No one would guess she could survive such a steep plummet.  Further down the trail, Simmons and her loved ones held an impromptu memorial service for their fallen friend.


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While they were grieving, they were interrupted by another hiker with an inconceivable declaration.

“He says, ‘I saw your dog. I saw your dog. Your dog is alive. I saw it on the ledge,’” Simmons proclaimed.

Four hours later, the Technical Animal Rescue Team with the Oregon Humane Society rescue team found Gracie and started work on getting her harnessed and lifted back up.

“When the rescuer got down to the bottom he radioed up and said she’s walking. She’s running. We heard her barking. I couldn’t believe it,” Simmons said.

Even more remarkably, Gracie survived without even a single broken bone.

“She just got a little pop on her lip. She got like two or three staples. We’re just saying it’s a miracle.”

Simmons will certainly exercise far more caution when taking Gracie out for adventures.

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99 thoughts on “Dog Believed Dead Is Found During Her Memorial Service

  1. Awesome for Gracie, but how could they not go after her?? Just assume she’s dead? What if she was down there badly injured, scared and hurting? Geez…

  2. I’m glad it was a happy ending. I cannot imagine doing anything other than finding my dog immediately. That said, everyone has their own way of dealing with things.

  3. I want to be all warm and happy for the outcome, but I’m pretty sure most dog owners would do anything they could to find their canine family member. I feel bad for that pooch. She would have starved to death if not for that hiker….

  4. I can’t believe they didn’t go look… so they just assumed she was dead ?? Omg I would have left immediately to go find her …
    Thank god Gracie is ok ( :
    The family is another matter…. Just saying…

  5. aawww what a wonderful story..good onya Gracie…if you were a pussycat you would have used up one of your lives..big cuddles for you girl…♥ ♥

  6. Very lucky for the owner. Whenever I have gone hiking with my dog she always is wearing her harness, and if we are anywhere steep I will wrap her leash around my wrist or carry her

  7. Everyone on this forum is so judgmental. If you read the article, it states that the memorial service was impromptu and they held it right there on the trail. I’m sure that they were planning to look for her (or her body) as soon as they got off the hiking trail and could access the trail at the base of the cliff. They didn’t ignore her and let her waste away for days before setting up a memorial service or something. The memorial service, contact from the hiker who found her, and rescue all occurred within FOUR HOURS of the initial fall. I’m sure the “memorial service” was simply helping them to deal with the shock of what they had just witnessed, and not a condemnation to leave her without further searching. Be a little more respectful. Everyone makes mistakes with their dogs, and accidents do happen.

  8. Also, free pats on the back for everyone whose immediate response was to state what they would have done differently with their own dog instead of any sort of empathy or sympathy!

  9. :)… That’s why I love this page!! These stories 9 out of 10 make you feel good.. Unlike a lot of other pages.. Gracie was not meant to go.. Truly a miracle!!!

  10. Geez.. I take back what I said above.. What no ones ever lets their dog off a leash.. People are jerks and unreal.. So negative 24/7… Nice story happy ending.. Like everyone on face book is a saint.. Please

  11. Stupidity! I am not a hiker so i dont know whether you can put a leash on the dog but come on… people don’t be naive. If you love your pet take proper precaution.

  12. Glad she is alive, but can’t believe they would abandon her without finding out her condition. Would you leave your child assuming they were dead too? Don’t mean to be negative, it has a happy ending, but still.

  13. Didn’t get me wrong it’s a great story glad she is alive just a lot of us who have dogs would have tried to get to the dog somehow.Also think it might be a bad place for off leash. Dogs don’t understand about cliffs just saying. And also if the dog was injured , every second would count, I don’t think of it as judgemental just some of us are probably protective of our buddies.

  14. The woman in the pic looks a little too thrilled….I think this whole story was rigged…..just sayin…if that was my dog I would be in tears from joy….not smiling for the freakin camera…

  15. I’m really glad her dog is OK, but any body THAT irresponsible with their pet, shouldn’t be allowed to own a dog. I don’t take my dogs to places where they could fall off a 200 ft cliff. JEEzus!

  16. This story doesn’t make any sense. Your dog falls off a cliff and all you do is have an impromptu “memorial service” a few yards down the road? Huh? Sorry, that’s not passing judgement, that’s just trying to make sense out of a ridiculous situation.

    1. Becky: You must not have a dog. We love our dogs and mistakes are not an option. If my dog fell off of a cliff I would not be having a memorial service as every minute would count in finding her not assuming she was dead. She might be Hurt, bleeding, scared, and needing me ASAP.

  17. Yeah I agree with the postings…..while reading this story I thought to myself why would she be off leash with a chance of a 200′ fall.

  18. We have a high cliff along the coast from where I live and despite warning signs and many tragedies with dogs people are still going up there with dogs off leads . Please be sensible with your dogs along cliff paths etc . Glad it worked ok for this dog .

  19. Yeah Suzanne I agree because dogs don’t always get what is dangerous, My Brody has zero concept of cars and what they could do to him.

  20. Glad they got her back, however I find it incredible that no move was made to find poor Gracie after she fell? If one of my dogs toppled off a cliff I would be down there the fastest way possible! Saying that I would never have mine off lead near cliff edges…

  21. I’m going to state that the dog should have been on a leash to make myself feel intelligent, regardless of the fact that everyone else in the comments has already pointed that out! High five, me!!

  22. Tracey Yamiolkoski – what do you mean “their own way of dealing with things”? You say if a human falls down you also leave, because he sure is dead? No, you don’t. This is not a way of dealing with things. This is ignoring the fact that the dog might be just injured and suffering. Damn cruel, if you ask me. “yeah, he is probably dead, but just in case he isn’t – let’s not look for him”……

  23. Like I commented on the article, my first thought was that why the hell didn’t she look for the dog or phone for help???? What kind of owner is she? When there is trouble she turns away? Shame on her.

  24. Umm, thank god for the dog making it! Am I the only one who would have gone down the cliff looking for the dog somehow??? I was under the impression the memorial was like days and not an Hr or 2 later! Bit bizarre! Yea and leash the dog up too! She’s lucky to be reunited with her and hopefully she takes the necessary precautions

  25. It certainly sounds like this dog needs a new home! No leash, and the owner just walks away after she fell over a cliff? This woman should not be allowed to have a dog! Or any pet!

  26. YEah wtf? Your dog falls down a cliff, you find a way down and look. You don’t rush home to have a memorial service.

  27. Either this story is nonsense or these folks are horrible pet owners. You don’t call for help just because you don’t hear anything? Maybe she’s knocked out and not dead? You immediately have a memorial service not knowing anything more than your dog fell off a cliff? I have 4 dogs, if this would happen to any of them, I’m not giving up until I know the facts and even if the worst is confirmed, I’m getting the body for proper burial! and by the way, this wouldn’t happen to any of my dogs – if I’m walking along a cliff with them there’s these great inventions known as a leash and harness. this just doesn’t add up. just my opinion folks.

  28. I’m really surprised she just assumed the dog is dead….and walked away…I would have done everything I could to see the body, to find my dog. I could not just give up so easily, there is always hope. And till I knew for sure I would not come to terms with my dog being dead.

  29. I know exactly where this is at (near Portland where I’m from) and so many dogs have fallen on that exact spot. It’s this teeny tiny walk way with a huge drop off to one side. There’s no way she could’ve tried to climb down to look for her dog. She could’ve called the rescue team in the first place but who knows. I would actually never take my dog on this hike due too this super steep drop off. But most of us Oregonians don’t put our dogs on leashes when we hike, that’s kinda silly. But she shoulda done it for that stretch of trail!

  30. It wasn’t Gracie’s time.Now go out and enjoy her to the fullest.Very happy to read the outcome.She is Blessed.

  31. To the person who said most Oregonians do not put your dog’s on leashes and that its silly: how silly does it look now? Apparently you Oregonians that don’t put your dogs on leashes are complete morons. I have 4 dogs and would never go hiking with my dogs off leash. Not only for their safety, but because it’s rude. Your dog may be great off leash, but the dog down the trail may not be so good off leash. Any number of things can happen including aggression. Dogs on leash are insecure around dogs off leash. Be responsible, put your dog on a leash.

  32. That owner is an idiot! First, for not having her dog on a leash; second, for assuming her dog was dead without checking;

  33. I have a lot of acreage where my fur babies are free to roam and play….when out and about (going to the veterinarian) they are on a leash and right beside me. I have great fur babies but they aren’t necessarily all that good with other fur babies outside of their pack……this was a stupid move by the doggies owner so perhaps she learned her lesson…I agree with Irene….I would never have just assumed my fur baby was dead….

  34. Because nothing says ‘I love you’ more than holding and Impromtu memorial service rather than actually looking for your dog or his remains..

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