Mum’s tribute to late hero dog

PUBLISHED: 15:28 18 February 2011

MY HEROES: Zoe with Boris and John in 2008. She said at the time:

MY HEROES: Zoe with Boris and John in 2008. She said at the time: "They will always be part of our family."

Archant

A HERO dog which died last month will never be forgotten by the Newton Poppleford mum whose life he saved.

A HERO dog which died last month will never be forgotten by the Newton Poppleford mum whose life he saved.

Zoe West, 23, says she owes “everything” to Boris the plucky boxer who found her just moments from death.

She formed an unlikely friendship with the dog and owner John Richards after the pair discovered her in the grip of severe hypothermia in an Ottery St Mary field six years ago.

Zoe, of King Alfred Way, this week paid tribute to her late pooch pal Boris and said: “He saved my life and will never be forgotten by our family- ever.”

Since the ordeal Zoe got married and is a proud mum of six-month-old son Bailey.

“I’ll always be grateful to John and Boris. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here,” she added.

John, 72, of Oak Close, Ottery, was out for a morning walk with Boris in November 2004 when they stumbled across what he feared was a crime scene.

Zoe had become lost as darkness fell when she was out walking the night before and fell victim to freezing conditions.

Police who raced to the scene thought they were dealing with a dead body until an officer found a slight pulse.

Zoe spent two weeks in intensive care after medics battled for four hours to resuscitate her. Her heart stopped as she was rushed by helicopter to hospital and had to have her nearly frozen blood re-circulated. She formed a special bond with John and Boris as she made a remarkable recovery.

“We were total strangers but now know each others life stories,” said Zoe.

John has always given all the credit to his faithful canine friend and said: “Boris found her and wouldn’t leave her. I only realised when i turned around to get him.”

He added: “We miss Boris like hell. Regardless of what he did, I don’t think I will ever replace him. He was such a character.

“I’m glad, when I think of Boris, I know Zoe made a life for herself, got married and has a lovely little lad.”

Brave Boris showed similar powers of recovery to Zoe after undergoing two knee operations. Old age finally caught up with the 14-year-old boxer in January, said John. Zoe’s dad, Trevor Christie, told the Herald in 2008: “She owes her life to that dog and his persistence.”


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