Firefighters were called to rescue a springer spaniel pup when she got into hot water.
The rope rescue team from South Shields was needed to haul young dog Bailey to safety after she dived into the River Wear for a swim.
John and Janet Henderson were walking one-year-old Bailey, along with their other spaniel, Maggie, in a wooded area of James Steel Park on Saturday morning near the river in Washington, when the pooch disappeared.
The pair, who live in Washington, didn’t think twice when Bailey ran into some bushes like she always does, but grew concerned when she didn’t return when called.
John, a teacher at St Wilfrid’s RC College in South Shields, said: “I held the other dog and my wife went to look for Bailey. I heard Janet cry out and went to look and there was Bailey swimming in the middle of the River Wear.
“She must have just leapt from the bank into the water. She loves the water and was very happy swimming about, but of course the current there is very strong and she was in danger of being swept away.”
She loves the water and was very happy swimming about, but of course the current there is very strongJohn Henderson
At the spot there was no way for her to climb out of the water and back up to her frantic owners, but John managed to coax her from the water onto a small muddy area about 10ft down from the edge.
The 48-year-old said there was no way for him to climb down to the dog so his wife telephoned the fire brigade.
Three fire crews arrived, including the rope rescue team, and one of the members was lowered down to the muddy bank and sent Bailey back up to the surface.
John said: “She is actually a white dog, but was totally covered in mud and she stunk.
“Then the lad came up and he was totally covered in mud as well.”
John said he is very grateful to the firefighters for rescuing Bailey, who was dirty and tired from her hour-long ordeal, but thankfully uninjured.