1. ITV Report

Rescue dog saves Cheshire toddler's life

A rescue dog is being hailed as a real life ‘Lassie’ after saving the life of a toddler in Cheshire.

Rufus leaped into action when 21-month-old Betsy Gunnion started to choke Credit: MEN Syndication

Black springador Rufus leaped into action when 21-month-old Betsy Gunnion started to choke on her own vomit at her home on the Moss, Macclesfield.

The dog - a cross between a labrador and a springer spaniel - began barking and tugging on the arm of Betsy’s mum Emily, who was sleeping in another room.

Betsy, her mum Emily and Black springador Rufus Credit: MEN Syndication

Emily, a cafe manager who is fostering the dog, said she woke up realising something was wrong and ran to the tot’s bed in time to clear her throat.She has since hailed Rufus a ‘lifesaver’.

Emily, who had been up all night caring for Betsy who was suffering with a stomach bug, said:

“Rufus saved Betsy, he was amazing.

“I was so tired after being up with her and didn’t know what was going on. Rufus alerted me. He got half on the bed and was scratching at me and barking. I knew something was wrong. Betsy was lying on her back being sick and choking, making horrible noises.

“I was so panicked but picked her up and she was sick properly and was okay. “Rufus is so clever, he sensed something was wrong. I dread to think what would have happened if he hadn’t been there.”

– Betsy’s mum Emily

Emily had only been fostering Rufus for a matter of days before the incident and he was downstairs with Emily’s other dogs Henry, 10, and Lola, eight, when Betsy began to choke.

Emily has volunteered for Labradors in Need, which finds homes for rescued Labradors, for some time, but Rufus is the first dog she has fostered. For more information go to