A Labrador Retriever named Penny was hailed as a hero after she rescued an unconscious woman from a fast flowing river. Brenda Owen was taking a lunch time walk with her Penny by the Elwy River in St. Asaph, Wales, when she spotted an abandoned wheelchair by the river bank. Looking around, she could not figure what had happened to its owner.
A custody officer with North Wales Police, Brenda asked another man walking his dog if he knew what had happened, but he didn't. When they both turned their heads to the river, they spotted a woman floating in the water.
Brenda shouted at the woman, "Are you all right love?" but got no response. She right away commanded Penny, "Fetch! fetch!" and instinctively Penny knew to go after the woman. She jumped into the river and swam towards her.
Brenda described, "The current was quite fast. It was obvious that the woman was unconscious and myself and the man went to help Penny who had dragged the woman back to the riverbank." They began to resuscitate the woman, but she remained unconscious for around 5 minutes before she began to breath. Brenda said it was "a life or death situation." Once the woman was breathing again, they placed her in a recovery position an called for emergency help.
The woman had gone missing from a nearby home and was taken for treatment at a nearby hospital. Brenda, who is grandmother to nine children, believes the woman could have easily drowned in the fast-flowing river if not for Penny. Although she pointed out that if Penny had not gone into the water, she would have tried and rescued the woman.
She is proud of her dog, who was 10 years old and stiil very fit at the time of the rescue, in 2008. Said Brenda, "Penny is a very obedient dog and we've had her since she was a pup. She's a local dog but this is the first time that she's saved anybody's life."