An Eketahuna woman is singing the praises of her English cocker spaniel named Izzy after it sniffed out another dog that had been trapped for four days on a sheer cliff face.
Karen Barber said a neighbouring couple had lost their Australian terrier Fergie on November 10, and failed to find him despite mounting several searches in and around the Stanly St neighbourhood.
Mrs Barber said she had joked with friends that she would take Izzy for a late afternoon stroll along the Cliff Walk, which runs atop the 20-metre cliff flanking the Makakahe River, and "sniff out the lost dog".
"As soon as we got near the spot where the dog had fallen, Izzy started whining and Fergie barked."
Mrs Barber decided to leave the rescue of the dog in expert hands and called the volunteer brigade.
Eketahuna fire chief Max Mayer said he was tied to a secure line and lowered about three metres down the cliff face to where the lost dog had been sheltering.
He said they had rescued a single cat in the past but it was the first time Eketahuna firefighters had rescued a dog.
He said Fergie was "very happy to see me" once he arrived at the dog's perch and the entire rescue took about ten minutes.
Mrs Barber said she was happy to be able to return Fergie to her owners.
"Fergie was apparently vomiting bile that first night [home] but was eating by the next day. I really thought Izzy was going to find a dead dog, not a live one and it was good to be able to help get the dog back to its owners."