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Sidbury pet owner puts dog’s safety first

15:30 17 January 2014

Christine Mullis from Sidburym with her dogs Bailey and Dobby. Christine recently rescued Bailey from a river. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 2558-03-14AW

Christine Mullis from Sidburym with her dogs Bailey and Dobby. Christine recently rescued Bailey from a river. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 2558-03-14AW

Archant

A SIDBURY woman spent 40 minutes clinging to a river bank in ‘freezing cold’ water after risking her life to save her pet dog.

Christine Mullis, 26, needed rescuing when she lost her balance while trying to pull her English springer spaniel, Bailey, out of the Yeo in Somerset.

The Furzehill resident was left submerged up to her chest and could not scramble back on to dry land despite the best efforts of her mum.

Emergency services later pulled her to safety.

Told she was lucky to avoid hypothermia, Christine says she is ‘no hero’ and only did what anyone else would have done.

“My dogs are like my babies – I would’ve been gutted if anything had happened to him,” she said. “It was an instinct. I just knew I had to get him out of there. I’ve always wanted to have dogs – now I have them, I want to keep them. “A lot of people have called me a hero, but I’m not so sure myself. I think anyone would do it for their dog.”

Bailey slipped off the bank as Christine and her mum Maria were out walking. They immediately tied two leads together to try to catch the beleaguered hound, but Christine fell from the concrete edge into the water.

She managed to get Bailey out, but the rocks slid out from under her feet, and her ‘little’ mum was not strong enough to pull her out.

“The firemen said they could see why I got stuck. They got me out and paramedics wrapped me in silver foil,” said Christine.

“It definitely hasn’t made me want to start swimming.”

She avoided any ill effects from the cold, but said she had pins and needles in her hands and feet for hours as she warmed up again.

The incident happened on New Year’s Eve but Christine’s plans to welcome in 2014 were unhindered, while Bailey was ‘absolutely fine’.

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