A quick-thinking member of the Old Nene Golf Club in Ramsey has been praised for saving the life of a deaf and blind dog, after it almost drowned at the course last week.
Joyce Ward, 63, was playing a round with Roger Ferra on July 19, when the pair noticed a man waist-deep in the river, trying to rescue his Labrador.
“We were approaching the bridge over the Old Nene and I noticed there was a boxer dog sat on the river bank and we thought someone had abandoned it,” Mr Ferra told The Hunts Post.
“We then noticed a man up to his waist in the water shouting to his dog on the other side of the river, and it was struggling to get out.
“The dog was swimming round and round, and you could see it was getting weaker and was going under the water then getting back up. You could see it was on its last legs.”
Although the pair tried shouting too, Joyce knew it wasn’t enough, and quickly stripped to her underwear before wading into the water herself.
“I just thought I can’t stand here and watch the dog drown,” she said.
“That was all I was bothered about – that the dog was OK.”
Moments later, Mrs Ward had grabbed hold of the dog’s collar and was swimming it back to the bank.
“The dog walker said he couldn’t thank me enough and kept saying words couldn’t explain it, and that he thought I was very brave,” she said.
Helped out by Mr Ferra, Mrs Ward went home to change before returning to applause at the golf club later that day. “Had it not been for Joyce, the dog would’ve drowned,” Mr Ferra said.
In fact, the owner returned to the course a few hours later with flowers and chocolates for Mrs Ward, and said a vet had told him the dog would not have survived if it had stayed in the water.
Despite his gratitude, the dog walker did not leave a name, although, like Mrs Ward, he lives in Ramsey Mereside.
Lesley Clark, senior captain at the club, added: “It was a brave move. She didn’t think twice.”