When Brian Spies let his energetic German Shepherd Luna out to play on Sunday morning, he never could have imagined where she would end up. After Luna failed to return home that day, Spies grew worried for both her safety and health.
“We were worried that she was injured. She would be out all night in the cold, so that’s why we searched until dark,” said Spies about the frantic search efforts.
With Luna missing through the night, Spies reconvened his search party to canvas the mountainous area surrounding his home on Monday morning. Around 10:30 am, success finally struck: Spies’ friend Luka Bogdanovich spotted something peculiar while driving down the road.
“I see something in the tree, and I went, ‘Holy cow, that’s the dog,’” exclaimed an incredulous Bogdanovich.
Perched atop a pine tree slanted at a steep angle sat Spies’ 70-pound German Shepherd, stranded about 25 feet above ground. Spies speculates Luna was chasing a squirrel before she found herself in a hairy situation too big to handle. After spotting his dog, Spies raced to the scene with a 24-foot extension ladder in tow. With help from two friends steadying the ladder, Spies ascended and rescued the nervous pup in his arms.
“I had to bear hug her and walk down the ladder with no hands,” described Spies. “We felt like firefighters.”
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While Luna has bounced back to normal after her tree-climbing misadventure, she gave her owner quite the shock in the process. Still, Spies feels confident that this independent dog has learned her lesson about wandering too far up a tree.
“It was an impressive climb, and how high she made it up,” conceded Spies with a laugh. “If she ever gets lost again, we’ll look up, because she can climb trees.”
How Unusual Is It For Dogs To Climb Trees?
While most dogs are not natural tree climbers, certain breeds and individual dogs exhibit this surprising behavior. Breeds like the Catahoula Leopard Dog, Jack Russell Terrier, and some hunting dogs have been known to pursue prey into trees. However, for a German Shepherd like Luna, this feat is quite remarkable. Veterinarians and animal behaviorists suggest that strong prey drive and curiosity can lead dogs to attempt such unusual acts.