An afternoon walk for Fagan the six-year-old Lakeland Terrier along the river, near the railway crossing at Bilton, almost ended tragically after he waded too far into the fast flowing waters.
Chasing after stones thrown by the mother of his owner, Linda Metcalf, Fagan was swept down the river by the current.
While he was able to eventually scramble up the banking on the opposite side of the river he then dived back into the water to return to her.
Linda followed him the whole time, calling out for help until a man who was walking his dog nearby heard her calls and dived into the water to rescue Fagan, who had begun to struggle to stay afloat. Thanking the stranger, she asked him to contact herself and her husband David so they could both thank him for his heroism.
David Metcalf said: “They were both absolutely terrified and still were shaken when I collected them, Linda said she could see that Fagan was up to neck in the water.“He just likes to have stones thrown and to try bring them back, but he just kept on going deeper into the water, it was really fast flowing on the day because of the rain. “By the time he was pulled out he had managed to get a hold onto some dead trees in the middle of the river with his paws, but he was going under the water for as long as 20 or 30 seconds. “My wife was so overjoyed, and asked him if he would get in touch with us so we could thank him properly.”
The man who bravely dived to Fagan’s rescue has since been in touch with the couple but has requested that he isn’t publicly named.
Mr Metcalf added: “We just thought that he deserved some kind of reward for what he did, it was an incredibly brave thing to do and that should be recognised.“Without him we would have lost Fagan, he was in the water we reckon for at least 30 minutes.“Because of what he did I am able to look at him now, laid out on the sofa, without a care in the world...”