updated 5/18/2006 3:34:56 PM ET 2006-05-18T19:34:56

Pepe’s owner says if his dog has nine lives like a cat, he used up two of them on Tuesday.

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The Jack Russell terrier darted over a beachside cliff in the Los Angeles area as he pursued a squirrel. After tumbling down the cliff, he landed next to the busy Pacific Coast Highway and just missed getting squished by a big rig.

A motorist quickly stopped and whistled for Pepe, who promptly hopped in the waiting Range Rover. The rescuer says Pepe jumped on her “lap and started licking” her.

But Pepe’s owner didn’t know about the rescue, so he hurried to the base of the cliff and started climbing up looking for his dog. Brandon McMillan ended up getting stuck as ground gave way below him and firefighters had to retrieve him.

Dog and owner have been reunited.

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