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"I've walked the bridge," says Jenna, 20, from Glasgow. "The first time I reached a point, and it was as if the air got thinner and my stomach jumped, a bit like when you miss a step going down a flight of stairs. The second time, I just couldn't stop feeling like something bad was going to happen. There was a woman with a dog at the edge of the bridge, and the dog would not take a step forward.
Some 600 more dogs are said to have flung themselves off the bridge from the same exact spot and survived — after which some of them get back up and try to jump all over again.
Local Donna Cooper lost her collie, Ben, in 2005 to the deadly bridge. She tells the Daily Mail, “His paw was broken, his jaw was broken and his back was broken and badly twisted. The vet decided it wasn’t worth putting him through the pain, so we had to let him go.”
There, standing at the point of the bridge where the dogs jump, he says, "Just me as a person, forget a dog—all your senses are on fire… it's got a strange feeling."
The structure has a tragic past. In 1994, a 32-year-old man threw his infant son, Eoghan, to his death—on a clear day, between the last two parapets of the bridge—claiming his child was the antichrist. The man tried to kill himself twice, first by following his son off the bridge—which he was stopped from doing by his wife—then by slashing his wrists with a knife he'd found. The child died in hospital the following day. The man was found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity in a unanimous verdict and committed to Carstairs psychiatric hospital in South Lanarkshire.
There is also something strange about this bridge, where the land slopes away on one side and dogs lose their bearings. Plus, dogs are colour blind: they see in pastels and have perceptual problems with large swathes of green or red, so again, perhaps something in the lie of the land confuses them, leading them to leap to the navigable safety of 50 feet below. It could of course be an untimely combination of all these factors, which would account for it only affecting certain dogs. The consolation to families left behind is that the dogs definitely didn't do it on purpose. They weren't depressed, and would never have left the family so bereft. They loved the new baby ...
Actually, minks are very common in Scotland (almost 26,000 in total). So there are other safer places to look for them. Why attacking them under this particular bridge? Dr. Sands said:
“Simple, when you get down to a dog’s level, the solid granite of the bridge’s 18-inch-thick walls obscures their vision and blocks out all sound. As a result, the one sense not obscured, that of smell, goes into overdrive.”
originally posted by: abe froman
a reply to: stormcell
What's the smell that could cause a dog to jump off a bridge?
Is there anywhere else in the world where this happens?
Is there any known smell that would cause a dog to risk that serious of an injury or even death to get to it?
Are there any documented incidents of dogs taking suicidal measures to get to minks?
originally posted by: stormcell
Maybe there is a body wrapped in mink furs buried underneath those ramparts. I've read about stories related to ghosts seen in particular locations such as around stone fireplaces. Sometimes, it was enough to remove those stones. Other times, they would find skeletons nearby (under the floor, trapped in the chimney or behind wall cavities). Some of the ghosts were animals like cats as well as humans.
Or perhaps there is some magnetic or electrical disturbance there, maybe even microwave radiation. Enough to trigger nerve ending receptors. I know that when I use a PCMCIA GPRS card or bluetooth on my smartphones I get a metallic smell. With the PCMCIA card my finger joints ache. Dogs have a sense of smell thousands of time more sensitive than humans, so something we would barely sense would be intense as being in a steamy fish'n'chip shop.
originally posted by: Gordi The Drummer
a reply to: shawmanfromny
That's a pretty misleading thread title if you ask me.
I'm sure the dog's don't "go there to kill themselves".
Every case that I've heard of has pretty much the same description...
A PERSON walks their dog over that bridge, and the dog (seemingly inexplicably) jumps off to his injury or death?
Two things are quite unusual about that bridge;
It has low but solid walls on either side (there are no gaps to see through from a low perspective).
It has a very large precipitous drop onto the rocks/river below which does indeed house Mink/Otter and a variety of other wild species that might interest a dog with a good nose.
If you view crossing that bridge from a dogs perspective...
You walk on a wide path (road) through a gatehouse onto a part of the path which has a low but solid wall either side (which blocks your view).
Your view up to that point has been flat, open, grassy ground on either side of the path.
Half way along the part of the path with the low wall... you start smelling the wildlife on the other side of that wall... what could it be?? You sniff the air.... definitely something there!!! and it's just the other side of that low wall...
You can see where this is going?
From a dogs perspective, the only thing between him and chasing the rabbits/otters/mink etc that he can smell is that low wall... one small jump later and we have a tragic dog fall.
A few more dogs making the same mistake and a spooky "mystery" is born.
Cut some slots in the bridge walls so that the dogs can see the drop and we'll see if they still "kill themselves" or not.