Lifestyle & Human Interest

'Our Hero': Recently Adopted Dog Saves Elderly Owner After He Falls Into 8-Foot-Deep Ditch


Animal lovers of all sorts know the sort of gratitude and loyalty that come from adopted pets.

The relationship between adopter and adoptee is a mutually beneficial one, with many asking the question, “Who saved whom?”

But few stories exhibit as literal a saving as this one from Dorset, England.

Peter Bradley and Debbie Ackers recently adopted a 5-year-old Labrador/German shepherd mix named Ruby.

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As she was still settling in and the three were getting to know each other, Bradley took her out for a walk, unaware that his blood sugar was about to dip.

Not only did Bradley faint while they were out, but he fell into an 8-foot-deep ditch that had water in it.

“I woke up and had no idea where I was or what had happened,” he said, according to People. “I could feel my boots filling up with water but could not find the strength to move.

“I could hear Ruby barking; she was making sure someone found me; that is a sure thing. Once I found some strength, I tried to climb out, but I could not as the sides were wet.”

Try as he might, Bradley could not escape. Thankfully, he was able to keep himself above the standing water while Ruby did her best to call for help.

And it worked: Someone heard Ruby barking and went to see what the matter was. They soon realized the reason behind the racket and helped Bradley out of the ditch.

“If Ruby had not barked as she did, I could have been there for an awfully long time without anyone knowing I was missing,” Bradley said.

But his ordeal wasn’t over yet. The pair made it home safely, but there Bradley fainted again.

“I must have fainted again at home, and the next thing I knew, my friend was beside me,” Bradley recounted. “He found me out like a light and Ruby lying over me. He called paramedics.”

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The dutiful dog had to approve the emergency responders when they arrived.

“Ruby continued to protect me and let the paramedics assist once she knew they were there to help,” Bradley explained. “I did not want to go to the hospital, so thankfully, the nurses treated me at home instead.

“With the nurses and Ruby continuing to look after me, I am much better now.”

While Ruby’s a relatively recent addition to the household, she’s more than earned her place in Bradley and Ackers’ home and hearts, and they say she feels like an old friend.

“Ruby has bonded with me and Debbie so well, and it feels like she has always been in our lives,” the grateful man said. “We walk her every day and feel safe with her by our side.”

“She really is our hero.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking