Andrew Nicolson, 72, was helping a fellow crofter gather sheep at the remote Fethaland common grazings in North Roe when his collie Fleck disappeared over the banks.
But Mr Nicolson was astonished when, after about 15 minutes, he heard the dog barking in the distance. He drove to find a mobile phone signal with just enough battery power left to phone the coastguard and tell them what had happened.
It took several hours for the coastguard to get volunteers to make up a team. Armed with ropes, stakes and harnesses the men trudged to the cliff where the dog was waiting on a ledge.
When Fleck emerged on the cliff top he acted as if nothing had happened. "He had a good roll on his back and looked like he had just been let out of the kennel," Mr Nicolson said.