A GREAT Staughton family got the best Christmas present they could wish for after their beloved dog narrowly escaped being killed by a stick.

Jet, an 18-month-old Border Collie cross, was on a countryside walk with his owners last Sunday (December 10) when a sharp, seven-centimetre stick became lodged in his eye.

Vets at Huntingdon's Cromwell clinic battled to save his life during an operation which resulted in what owner, Patrick Faulkner, described as a "miracle."

Mr Faulkner told The Hunts Post: "Jet is such a friendly, well-behaved dog. We were out on a normal Sunday afternoon walk and he went on a run around and when he came back I noticed his eye was completely black - it took us a while to realise what was wrong because the stick had gone so deep into his eye socket."

Mr Faulkner and his daughter, Jessica, 16, took Jet to the vets who, on examination, said the stick had narrowly missed his brain.

"But they said that there was a strong possibility they would have to take his eye out," Mr Faulkner added.

However, during the operation vets were able to save Jet's eye and he is now back home and recovering.

"We still don't know exactly how it happened," Mr Faulkner said. "After going back to where we were walking we saw some fresh branches on the ground and all we could think of was that he'd run into them with such force that one had lodged in his eye.

"We're all so, so lucky."