A devoted dog owner died with her dog while walking in a field near their home after cattle trampled them to death. Sandra Wiltshire, 68, was walking golden Labrador Retriever Bruce, aged 11, when the cows inexplicably became spooked and stampeded. Tragically, Sandra died at the scene and Bruce had to be put down later that day. The pair were discovered by dog walkers last Thursday and Sandra was able to tell them what happened before passing away.
Her friend of 20 years, Chris Jones, said Sandra visited the fields twice or sometimes three times a day. "That's the first serious incident that has been there. She was brave and not stupid. There was no way Bruce was antagonising those cows. He was a plodder," she said. "If anything happened to Bruce, Sandra would have rescued him."
The fields are near the River Avon in England and are popular with walkers, although not part of the footpath. Sandra was very familiar with the surroundings and had walked in the field for 20 years without incident.
Devastated friends and family paid tribute to Sandra, who had rescued Bruce 9 years ago. Clive and Joan Rathbad were close friends and neighbours of Sandra. Clive was Sandra's friend for 50 years. They said she was no doubt protecting her dog.
"Bruce was very old and wasn't capable of running. He could just waddle along." He described Bruce as the most placid dog he had ever met. "Nothing fazed him." He added that Bruce was friendly with every dog and every person he met. "He and Sandra were absolutely devoted to each other. She loved walking, and walked Bruce twice a day. I think she would have died protecting her dog. She would have defended him to the death."
Her grieving husband, retired lorry driver George said: "She was lovely. I loved her to bits. She looked after me brilliantly. I have lost both Sandra and Bruce." Sandra's 91 year old mother said she is in absolute shock. "I cannot tell you how much I miss her."
Via This is Bath