French bulldog Harley had fallen into a Northern Ireland family’s hot tub after the covering lid had collapsed. Stephen and wife Marian, of Ballynahinch, received a call from Stephen’s daughter, Eva, as they returned from holiday.
She broke the news to the couple that the family pet had “nearly died”, but was saved by the quick actions of younger dog, Lottie.
Stephen told Belfast Live: “Of course we were shocked at this point and then I realised I hadn’t strapped it down on both sides, but I had put a zipped fly net around it.
“I was wondering how they got in and I said to my wife that we could watch it on our CCTV and we could actually watch it from the airport.”
The family described how, watching back the footage, they could see how Harley had followed the 14-week-old cockapoo puppy Lottie closer to the hot tub than he would typically venture.
Stephen described how they could clearly see Harley “lying and lounging” on the tub with Lottie.
He added: “But with her weight she sent Harley down into the water when the lid gave way.
“She then starts to panic and you can see it in the video – she runs over to him, falls herself, climbs up and you can see her thinking how she can help him.
“She ran to the back door and started barking and crying to get in and that was the key to saving him because if she hadn’t done that, my daughter Eva wouldn’t have known to come out and noticed that he was in there.
READ MORE: Cornwall holiday tragedy: Teenage girl dies after jumping off rocks
“The only thing she could do was to go to the door and yelp, which she doesn’t really do normally.
“Harley is mine and he arrived on my 50th birthday and he would be my wee mate so if anything happened to him, that would really have been hard for me.”
Stephen then warned other pet owners to be vigilant with items such as hot tubs around their beloved pets.
He added: “We’re just so lucky to have him here, he’s lucky he’s alive.
“It is a warning and we just want to say to other owners as well that it can happen so easily – just to make sure all the straps are definitely on and all that.
“I’ve learned my lesson, certainly.”