November 27, 2021

Loyal dog saves owner, 81, from canal drowning after refusing to leave his side

A loyal dog helped save his 81-year-old owner when he refused to leave the man’s side after he fell into a freezing canal.

Tragedy almost struck as pensioner Brian Watson was out for a walk with his black Labrador, named Hugo, just before 5pm on January 31.

At one point, they passed Gregor Angus, 39, and his four-year-old son Lucas, along the Union Canal in Linlithgow, West Lothian.

The hero father and son later circled back and spotted devoted Hugo sitting by himself next to the water near Friars Brae Bridge.

When Gregor looked closer, he was shocked to see Brian lying face-down in water and appearing to be lifeless.

Gregor, a senior business development manager, attempted to drag Brian from the freezing water but the pensioner’s clothes were waterlogged, so he yelled for help.

Gregor Angus, 39, and his four-year-old son Lucas
Hero dad Gregor Angus, 39, and his four-year-old son Lucas raised the alarm

The pensioner was rushed to hospital but has made a full recovery.

Dad-of-two Gregor said: “When we were walking back, I spotted his dog sitting by itself which I thought was a bit strange.

“When we got closer, I noticed what turned out to be Brian lying in the water.

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“He was lying face down in the water and was completely lifeless.”

Lucas held onto the dog’s lead while his dad tried to drag the pensioner to safety.

Gregor added: “From the edge of the water I was able to grab onto his jacket and haul him out without having to go in.

“I screamed for help, there were people about 100 yards away who rushed over.

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“He was wearing a jacket and winter clothes, I needed help to pull him out.

“It was a team effort, I’m thankful for the other people who were there to help.

“I think his body went into shock with the cold, he didn’t cough up water when we got him out from the canal.”

Passerby attempted to keep Brian warm by lending him their coats while an ambulance rushed to the scene.

Gregor, from Livingston, West Lothian, added: “His daughter phoned that evening, she was very grateful.

“They were able to get his temperature back to normal at hospital.

“Fortunately Brian is OK.”