UPPER NYACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A suburban backyard with a view turned into a rescue scene this week, after the family dog, and then a family member, ended up trapped on a cliff.
As CBS2’s Lou Young reported Thursday, the story starts with a 14-year-old mutt named Punjik, and the scent of something in the yard near hear family’s Upper Nyack home Wednesday afternoon.READ MORE: NYPD: 5 People Hospitalized After Police-Involved Shooting In Upper Manhattan
“She’s old, and she doesn’t see too well, but follows her nose,” said Walter Katzenstein of Upper Nyack.
In this case, she followed her nose right off a cliff overlooking the Hudson River. The Katzensteins did not know that at first – they just knew Punjik was missing, and they called their sons and grandsons over to help.
The dog was spotted in the brush, halfway down the steep cliff.
“Her head was framed between, like, two bushes, and there was her face in the middle of the outcropping,” said would-be rescuer Alex Katzenstein.
Getting there, it turned out it was almost a one-way trip, because the part of the Palisades where Punjik fell is more dangerous than it looks.
“The rock is red sandstone; it’s soft,” said Florence Katzenstein. “It crumbles easily, so when you think you’re standing on a solid rock, it suddenly starts to crumble underneath you.”READ MORE: Prisoner Escapes From Custody At Bellevue Hospital
After about an hour, the old pooch and two of her would-be rescuers were caught between a rock and wet place. It was decided collectively to call 911.
Volunteer firefighters from Nyack showed up with the equipment and know-how to deal with the crumbly cliff, pulling everyone to safety. The fear did not set in until it was over.
“Moving from there to here was scary, but being there wasn’t so awful,” said would-be rescuer Gabe Katzenstein.
But it was a bit embarrassing.
“When you’re sitting there waiting to be rescued by somebody – you know, I’m 27 years old,” Gabe Katzenstein said. “I sort of like to think I can get myself out of physical situations, and in this case I couldn’t.”
And even if he had been able to get out himself, he wasn’t about to leave the dog. She was safe late Thursday and on a figurative short leash, and all the members of the Katzenstein family were giving the cliff a wide berth.MORE NEWS: After More Than A Year, The Show Must Go On: More Broadway Shows Announce Plans To Resume Performances
The Katzensteins have lived in their house for decades, and said they have never climbed on the actual cliffs before. They are not about to try it again anytime soon.