Published:
July 15, 2014
Burnham family thanks beach lifeguards for trying to save their dog

A Burnham-On-Sea family has this week thanked a team of lifeguards who tried to save their pet dog when it collapsed on a local beach at the weekend.

Paul Horder and his family were walking their old English Mastiff at Berrow when he suddenly became ill and required urgent help.

The lifeguards and beach warden swung into action to help the family get the dog to a local vet surgery.

Paul is keen to thank those that helped the family as the incident unfolded. He told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "We recently moved from Bristol to Burnham and on our list of many things to do was to take our dogs to the beach - that day came last Saturday."

"Frank, our old English Mastiff, could not walk far on pavements or hard surfaces because he always used to scuff his back paws to a point where they would bleed, hence the need to take him to the beach. Frank was so excited when he realised he was going out and couldn't wait to get in our van along with Jake, our other dog."

"We parked at Berrow Church and walked through the sand dunes to the beach with Frank leading the way - it was almost like he had been there before. He was very excited and ran the last few yards onto the beach itself, dragging me along with him with my partner Lesley and son Jamie following behind."

"We walked down the beach in the direction of Burnham where both dogs were having fun messing around in a couple of pools of water. After a short period of time, Frank started to have trouble with his back legs to which point we stopped and let him rest a while."

"A passing group of people also stopped and helped by giving him some water to drink which was gratefully received."

"After a short rest we decided it would be best to head back to the van at Berrow Church and get poor old Frank home, but this proved to be a problem as he was not getting back up onto his feet. We managed to help him over to the sand dunes but this proved very difficult because he was about thirteen stone."

"It was at this point we realised we had a big problem. We could just about see the jetty at Burnham beach and knowing that there were lifeguards there I decided to walk there to seek help on what we could do to recover Frank from the beach."

"As soon as I reached them, they were quick to call for help from Berrow's lifeguards and the beach warden, who quickly sent a small search party to look for Lesley, Jamie, Jake and Frank."

"After about 20 minutes one of the lifeguards, Freya, on her quad bike located them and found that Frank was now suffering from stress and was beginning to get uncomfortable with his situation."

"Freya tried to give him more water and then arranged for the beach warden to bring his van up to the scene so they could get him back to the lifeguard station at Berrow."

"This again proved challenging as there was no more room in the van for my son Jamie and Jake, but during the time waiting for help another couple had stopped to offer help and they gave him water and ice packs which they had with them."

"As I arrived at the scene in Berrow, it was obvious that Frank had taken a turn for the worse and did not look very well at all. We quickly transferred Frank from the warden's van into my van and phoned the vets, Bridge Veterinary Surgery, and arranged to meet them at their centre."

"They quickly confirmed that Frank was not at all well and we used a stretcher to take him into the surgery's reception area where they immediately covered him with wet towels and used a fan to keep him cool. I don't think Frank knew at this point what was going on - he had a very high temperature and his heart rate was very fast. It also appeared that he had now had symptoms of bloat. There was nothing more that could be done, so we left Frank in the hands of the vets and went home to Burnham."

"Two hours later, we had a phone call from the vets with an update. There was a big sigh of relief when they said he'd started to respond to all their efforts to bring him back around. The bloating was reducing, his gums had started to return back to a normal colouring, and an intravenous drip was helping. We were very pleased that he may get through this awful situation and get better."

"But then half an hour later we had another phone call to say that his heart had suddenly given up and he had sadly passed away. Our hearts were broken at the sad loss of our beloved pet Frank. He was a member of our family that we will never forget and will be sadly missed by all that knew him."

"But we would like to thank all that were involved in the recovery and care of him on Saturday. We were touched that so many people helped us on such a very sad day, especially the lifeguards, beach warden, the people that stopped and offered their help, and Bridge Vets who tried in vain to save our Frank."

 


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