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Loyal spaniel saves owner's life

Wednesday November 7th 2012

A loyal pet spaniel saved the life of its owner who fell into a river and almost froze to death.

Springer spaniel Smudge alerted a passer-by after his owner Michael Dabbs plunged into the freezing river off Churchill Road, in Grays, Essex.

The 63-year-old was attempting to rescue his other spaniel, Ben, when he fell into the water. Mr Dabbs was trapped in the river for more than two hours before Smudge alerted passer-by Tony Paxton who called 999.

He was then pulled from the river and spent six hours in hospital. He said: "The trouble started when Ben fell the river and couldn't get out. I went after him and found I couldn't get out. I didn't realise at the time just how serious it was.

"I am extremely grateful to everyone involved and reckon the police officers did a really good job. Smudge did a good job too. He could have run off but Springers are clever dogs."

Copyright Press Association 2012

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