A LOYAL family dog called Bud lived up to his name when he heroically saved his eight-year-old master who was in danger of drowning as he lay helpless in a river with two broken arms.
In a Lassie-style rescue, the Welsh Border Collie-Labrador crossbreed pulled Nye Thomas from the water after he fell 20 feet from a makeshift rope swing.
As the boy lay in two feet of water in the River Tawe, in south Wales, he called his family's seven-year-old dog down from the bank.
Nye managed to wrap his pet's lead round himself. With the other end attached to its collar, Bud dragged him up the embankment. Nye was able to walk to his nearby home and was taken to hospital. An X-ray showed he had broken four bones in his arms.
Nye, a keen footballer, said: ‘I lay on my back in the water and called for Bud. He scrambled down the bank and reached me. He seemed to know what to do. It took ages to get back up the bank and I was in agony and covered in mud. The bank was slippery, but Bud seemed to know the best footholds.’
His father, Richard Thomas, 34, a steelworker, said: ‘Nye was swinging on the rope, as boys do, when he lost his grip and fell into the river.
‘He was only in the shallows, but if he had been there much longer he could have drowned. Nye was up to his waist in water. He had the presence of mind to call the dog down.
‘I have no idea how he managed to wrap the lead around himself. He was in a lot of pain, but I suppose, in situations like that, you find a way. He could move his fingers slightly, which must have helped.
‘He wouldn't have been able to get up the embankment by himself. It's hard enough without two broken arms.’
Last weekend Nye was recovering at home, with both his arms in plaster, along with his father, his mother Nadine, a teacher, and his younger brother Ellis, aged three, in the village of Glais, near Swansea. The family has given the dog ‘lots of treats’ to reward him, said Mr Thomas.
They had found Bud in a local dogs' home. Mr Thomas added: ‘He'd been abandoned in a black bag. We had a good feeling about him straight away.
‘It seems Bud knew that Nye was in trouble and helped out. You could say it was his chance to pay us back for taking him all those years ago.’