Rescue dog praised for saving elderly owner's life when he fell into a ditch

  • ITV Meridian's Richard Slee reports from Bovington in Dorset

A rescue dog who saved her owner's life when he fell into a ditch in Dorset has been praised for her actions.

Ruby was adopted from the Dogs Trust in Salisbury just five weeks ago by Peter Bradley.

But while out for a walk in Bovington last month, Peter collapsed and tumbled into a ditch in woodland.

Luckily five-year-old Ruby sprung into action.

Rather than run off, the dog stayed and her barking eventually attracted the attention of a local walker. 

Peter and his partner Debbie return to the spot where he fell into a ditch in Bovington, Dorset. Credit: ITV Meridian

Returning to the spot where he fell, Peter said seeing the area makes him cry and get very emotional.

"She was barking, running around, she wouldn't leave.

"She doesn't bark very often, she was barking. When I come here it gets me. They came up there and I was down in there.

"They stuck a branch down and lifted me out."

Peter suffers with a heart condition and low blood pressure and says the whole experience was frightening.

He doesn't know how long he was in the ditch, but he does remembers that when he came round he was stuck, lying down in about a foot of cold water.

"I was filling up with water in my boots, all sorts, just couldn't get out," he added.

Speaking to ITV Meridian, Peter's partner Debbie said: "I'm just glad he's all right and Ruby did her job. 

"She could easily run away and be gone."

"I'm just so relieved."   

Peter credits five-year-old rescue dog Ruby with saving his life. Credit: ITV Meridian

After he was rescued, Peter was helped home and looked after by his neighbours and checked over by paramedics.

Sarah Abbott of the Dogs Trust said: "It's lovely to hear about what all our dogs get up to when they get a home but I think this story really stands out.

"It's incredible to know what a dog could do when you rescue them, they might go onto rescue you.

"Across the UK there are about 800 dogs currently looking for new homes.

"We can't promise that they will all be potential lifesavers but they will be your best friend."

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