MANY know the feeling of adjusting to apartment living, but for Suzie, the shift was so dramatic, she almost went over the edge.
Suzie is a 14-year-old fox terrier and a member of the Robinson family, who have recently moved into a third-floor apartment in the new Lume development at Honeysuckle.
"It was her first night last night, and she was fine," Michelle Robinson said.
On Thursday morning, Mrs Robinson put her beloved foxy on the balcony while she went out to buy supplies, including for Suzie.
That's when Suzie put on a heart-in-the-mouth, crowd-attracting display.
The little dog climbed onto the balcony's ledge, and for more than half an hour walked back and forth.
Michelle Robinson received a call from a building manager, and she quickly headed back, all the while receiving urgent text messages. By then, a Fire and Rescue NSW truck with a long ladder had arrived.
"That's very rare, that was an unusual request," said Newcastle Fire Station commander Rod Lynch, who planned to find out if there was a master key to gain access to the apartment.
Michelle Robinson arrived, quickly handed over the apartment's keys to a building worker, and stayed out of sight around the corner.
"I can't let her see me, because she'll jump," Mrs Robinson told the Newcastle Herald, as she stood at the bottom of the apartment block, looking up.
"I'm scared for her, in case she jumps. But there's enough people here that they'll catch her."
Mrs Robinson pointed out Suzie didn't have the attributes for a high-wire act.
"She's a bit insecure, she's a bit blind, she's a bit deaf" Mrs Robinson said.
Her husband, Cr Allan Robinson, was surprised when he received a call about Suzie.
"She wouldn't jump off a chair!," Cr Robinson said later. "It's amazing she did that. She's such a beautiful little dog."
After a few tense minutes, Mrs Robinson received word that Suzie was safely off the balcony.
"Very relieved," she said, as she was reunited with her pet, amid a flurry of hugs and licks.
After her experience with Suzie, Michelle Robinson has this piece of advice for any dog owners moving into an apartment: "Maybe the first couple of days, stay home with the dog."
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