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Incredible journey: Bella the labrador survives 100 foot cliff fall... then finds her way back to holiday home she hardly knew

First published in News

BELLA the dog survived a 100ft cliff fall and walked to the holiday home she had only been to once before.

The labrador was back at the flat while her owner was still desperately looking for her.

Owner Chris Sexton spent 30 minutes scouring the cliffs and beach before his wife called to say Bella had arrived home safe and well.

The 15-month-old black dog plunged off the cliff as she chased after a seagull while out for a walk with Chris, 68, at Peveril Point, near Swanage .

Chris, a retired company director from Salisbury, raced down to the bottom but found no sign of her.

Bella walked along the South West Coast Path and then made her way down several residential streets until she found the family’s holiday home in Swanage.

Family friend Michael Ayling peered out of the window and saw Bella bounding down the driveway towards the block of flats.

Chris said: “She is only 15 months old. I walked her down to the cliffs from the holiday home last summer but I would never have thought she would have remembered the route.

“I have no idea how she survived the fall, got back up the cliff and then found her way back home by herself. It is quite amazing.”

He said Bella had been well away from the cliff edge until she spotted the seagull.

He said: “She just went for it and then went over the edge with her legs splayed out.

“I thought it was the end of her and I looked over the edge and thought I could see her on the beach but didn’t know if she was alive or dead.

“When I got down there, there was no sign of her. I called and whistled for her but nothing.

“After about 10 minutes I called my wife Jo who was back at the flat to tell her what had happened.

“Then I got a call back about 20 minutes later saying Bella had arrived back safely. She was fine.”

Simon Williams of Portland Coastguard said: “It must have had a homing instinct.”

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