SPOKANE, Wash. - The Rochon family love taking their dog to an outlook above the Spokane River at Riverside State Park. But their goldendoodle, Jasper McLovin, was a little excited Sunday and jumped onto the ledge, miscalculated the jump and fell 300 feet into the river.
Normally the Bowl and Pitcher at Riverside State Park is a great place for Jasper McLovin to run off some energy, but this time he ran too far.
"There's a rock wall and he wanted to see what was on the other side," Michelle Rochon said.
Jasper McLovin and his boy, 12-year-old Marshall, were racing to an outlook point with a ledge and little else. Michelle said that Marshall "turned, because we were still coming up the hill, my husband and I, and he said --"Jasper McLovin
"'Mom, Dad! Jasper jumped!' Off the ... I ... I don't know ... I didn't really know what to say," Marshall Rochon said.
What he couldn't say was that Jasper McLovin had jumped off a cliff, 300 feet down into the frigid waters of the Spokane River.
"He had to hit the sides because he's kind of scuffed a little," Michelle Rochon said.
"I see Jasper and he's all wet and he's looking at me like 'Please help me,'" Marshall Rochon said.
Jasper swam to shore on his own, the family went down to the river's edge to rescue him and then rushed him to Dr. Joe Peterson at the North Division Animal Medical Center. With a 300-foot fall, Peterson was expecting the worst.
"As a minimum (he'd have) major fractures, bleeding in the chest cavity, skull fractures," Peterson said.
But Jasper walked away with a bruised liver, bruised lungs and a scratch on his leg.
"Luckily, no bones were broken," Michelle Rochon said. "I can't believe it."
"For him to walk away from this with nothing more than a scratch and something that was easily resolved in his chest is really pretty amazing," Peterson said.
Amazing still, four days later, Jasper McLovin seems to have his spunk back. He's not supposed to be barking or playing but he thinks otherwise. There's no other way to put it: Jasper McLovin is one lucky dog.
Dr. Peterson said Thursday the Rochon family wants to make sure other dog owners know to keep your dog on a leash until you know where it's safe to let them roam free.