Puppy saves Brundall woman’s life

A pensioner who collapsed and had a heart attack has told the remarkable story of how her puppy helped to save her life by pawing and scratching her until she woke up.

Gwen Risby started to feel unwell while in the garden at her Brundall home and ended up collapsing and losing consciousness.

But her 16-week-old puppy Candy pawed at her until she came round for just long enough to call her daughter for help.

Mrs Risby, 76, said: 'I definitely owe my life to her. She was so young, but she had the sense to bring me round just enough to make a phone call.

'I was scratched and bleeding, but I didn't really care. She just sensed there was something wrong I suppose.

'I had been in the garden and I felt a bit wheezy so I thought I would go and sit down for a while.

'I collapsed and the next thing I knew she was scrabbling and pawing me on my chest.

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'I came round long enough to make a phone call to my daughter and didn't know much after that.

'But without her, I wouldn't be here beause no one would have known.'

Mrs Risby's daughter, Nina Cooper, who lives in nearby Acle, called 999 and paramedics managed to get to Mrs Risby's Springdale Road home within minutes of her collapse at around 11am on August 14.

Mrs Risby has been receiving treatment at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital since then and has only recently been well enough to return home, and to return to her beloved Jack Russell/shih tzu cross. Mrs Cooper, 50, said: 'We can't praise the paramedics and the hospital enough. They were absolutely brilliant and the care has been second to none.'

Mrs Risby's son Matt, who lives in Norwich, bought her the puppy as someone he worked with had two left to rehome from a litter.

The 32-year-old said: 'I took mum up to go and view them and she fell in love with the little female puppy. All the time she was in hospital the dog was completely lost and the very day mum came back, she was straight back by her side as if nothing had happened.'

Mrs Risby, who grew up in Limpenhoe, said right from the start she had felt an incredible bond with Candy and that even as a puppy, she stays by her side when not on a lead.

She said: 'I have had dogs before, but never one like this.

'I feel very fortunate, also because I have been looked after so well in hospital and by my family.'

Do you have a story about an animal saving someone's life? Call reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk