Pet dog saves owner after fall in woods

Derek Ramsden with his dog, Toby
Derek Ramsden with his dog, Toby

Toby, a seven-year-old Lhasa Apso, proved he was man’s best friend when he came to the rescue of his 81-year-old owner Derek Ramsden.

Mr Ramsden was on holiday in Wales with his wife, Ada, 71, and their dogs Toby and Bruno, an 18-year-old Staffie Cross.

He was walking the dogs in a wooded area of the Brynowen Holiday Park, Borth, Aberystwyth, when he slipped.

Mr Ramsden, of St George’s Crescent, Lee Mount, lost his footing by a bridge over a stream and plunged into thick mud, last week.

“I managed to get hold of a railing on the bridge. It was frightening. I could not get out and you can’t hold your grip for long at my age,” he said.

Mr Ramsden feared tumbling down banking and the possible consequences.

Bruno wandered off but Toby realised his owner was in difficulties and sped off to raise the alarm.

He ran a quarter-of-a-mile past bushes and apartments to reach the security office which was manned.

Toby barked anxiously and staff knew there was a problem and followed Toby back to the incident scene. The dog led the way and kept stopping for helpers to catch up.

“Toby is dedicated to both of us and I think he is a hero,” said Mr Ramsden, a retired photographer.

Mrs Ramsden said her husband had been missing an hour and she grew concerned and set off in search of him.

She then came across him flanked by park staff who had pulled him to safety.

“He was covered in mud from head to foot. If he had let go he could have slipped down further. Toby saved him.” she said.

Mr Ramsden suffered bruising to his back.

Park maintenance manager Ben Thompson had earlier seen Mr Ramsden and the dogs setting off and told how he and his colleague Martin Riley came to the resuce. “It had been raining and the ground was slippy. The dog knew what it was doing. It ran past apartments through bushes and alerted security,” he said. Toby barked for attention and moved towards where he came from so staff followed. Mr Thompson sadded: “The dog was leading the way and without the dog we would not have known he was there. That dog certainly has something about it.” When staff reached Mr Ramsden they were able to pull him out and walk him to safety. Mr and Mrs Ramsden will shortly be giving Toby his reward - another caravan park holiday in Filey.