Hero dog Monty saved his injured English owner’s life by dashing half a mile to a pub to raise the alarm.
Maurice Holder, 73, had been taking pet labradoodle Monty for a walk along a tidal river when the ground suddenly gave way and he plunged 40ft towards the water.
The pensioner was knocked unconscious and broke six ribs. He woke up to the sound of Monty barking at him.
Maurice said: “When I woke up the tide had come in up to my chest and I was bleeding from my head. Monty was sat next to me.”
The grandad — who has owned Monty for 11 years — struggled up the bank of the River Camel, near Bodmin, Cornwall, before collapsing.
Monty then dashed to the Borough Arms pub where he barked until he attracted the attention of a local and led him to the scene.
Maurice, from Newquay, was rushed to hospital and treated for head injuries, broken ribs and cuts and bruises.
He was later told his accident could have proved fatal if Monty had not got help to him in time.
He said: “Monty is the perfect pet. He isn’t the best behaved but he’s loyal — and that’s what matters.”
Sheep are not very clever and in this case either it is too stupid to realise that it is a sheep, or perhaps clever enough to pretend not to be.
Six-month-old Jack, a rescued lamb raised with a springer spaniel is now convinced he is a dog. He even fetches sticks, jumps up on his hind legs and tries to bark.
Jack was raised on a farm in Market Drayton, Shropshire, and is owned by Alison Sinstadt and her partner Simon.
They both began to notice the sheep’s dog-like behaviour ever since it built a friendship with the couple’s dog.
‘He makes this strange half baa, half woof noise which everyone finds hilarious,’ Alison told reporters.
‘Jack doesn’t even recognise sheep as his own kind as he tries to herd them up when he’s in a field with them.’
The friendship between Jack and the springer spaniel has been the main cause of the sheep’s new-found characteristics. They even accompany each other along the canal when going on ‘dog’ walks and share the same sleeping box.
‘He was born one of three lambs, which is quite rare,’ explained Alison. ‘He was very small and we decided to bring him in the house and put the hairdryer on him and forced him to drink milk.
‘He thinks he’s a dog, but he doesn’t eat dog food. He grazes along the canal towpath. He is very much part of the family now. We wouldn’t want him ending up as lamb chops.’
Jack is not the only sheep in Britain to have adopted canine ways. In 2006, Welshman Emlyn Roberts had taught his pet sheep Rolo dog tricks, thanks to its time growing up around collies for five years.
Competing against sheepdogs, Rolo learned to jump through hoops, became used to walking on a lead and developed the skill of herding ducks.