Home Lifestyle I was hit by a van. I couldn’t believe what my rescue...

I was hit by a van. I couldn’t believe what my rescue dog did next

13
0

Tears filled my eyes as I realised just what he was saying (Picture: Sue Calver)

Opening my eyes, the first thing I noticed was the searing pain in my side.

Dazed, I tried to make sense of my surroundings. The last thing I remembered was walking our dog, Rocky, and being just moments from home. But after that it’s all blank.

Now, I was lying on a gurney in a hospital corridor with my husband, Paul, standing next to me. He then took a breath and explained I’d been hit by a delivery van. I was shocked, but also confused.

I’d left the house without ID, so how had Paul even known I’d been in an accident in the first place? Who had contacted him?

Then he told me something wonderful.

It was only when our cat Jess died in July 2022, that we started to consider getting a dog seriously (Picture: Sue Calver)

‘The only reason I’m here is because Rocky came to get me,’ Paul said. ‘He was howling outside our front door, and when I saw he wasn’t with you I took his lead and he pulled me all the way to where you were lying in the road.’ 

Tears filled my eyes as I realised just what he was saying.

Our rescue dog had rescued me.

We first contemplated getting a dog years earlier, but as we didn’t want to subject our beloved elderly cat, Jess, to a lively pooch we’d always put it off. It was only when Jess died in July 2022, that we started to consider it seriously.

‘The house feels empty,’ said our sons Alex, 25, and Joe, 21, and I had to agree.

I’d wanted to adopt a rescue dog instead of buying from a breeder; it seemed silly to pay for a pup when there were so many that needed a home. That’s when I came across Rocky, who was then known as Rikki.

Rocky was originally called Rikki (Picture: Sue Calver)

Having contacted all the well-known dog adoption organisations without success, I then reached out to Animal Adoption International – a registered charity that helps rehome needy animals from around the globe – who told me about a pup from Bosnia who needed a forever home.

With stumpy little legs, a stocky build and looking somewhat out of proportion, he certainly didn’t look like many cockapoos I’d seen. But those big eyes had already stolen my heart.

I was then put in touch with Jane, a woman who fostered dogs and was caring for Rikki, who explained that he had been neglected and chained up for most of his life, and my heart shattered. I knew we had to help him.

We arranged a visit to Jane’s home to meet him, and the minute she opened the door, I instinctively bent down to ruffle his brown and black fur.

As he looked up at me, I knew it was love at first sight for both of us.

We were allowed to take him for a short walk and, as Rikki was very happy for me and Paul to hold his lead, Jane agreed he’d made his decision. He was ours.

Our walk had started as normal that Sunday afternoon in December (Picture: Sue Calver)

There was paperwork to sign, forms to fill but after that, we were free to take him home. There was just one problem…

‘The name Rikki makes me think of Bianca from EastEnders,’ I said to Paul on the drive back, and he just laughed.

‘What shall we call him instead then?’ He asked. And so I suggested the name Rocky.

Back home, the newly named Rocky got busy sniffing the floors, exploring his new territory. When Alex and Joe clapped eyes on him they were instantly besotted too. 

For the next year we settled into life as a family of five again, and we soon discovered Rocky had a few quirks – including his ability to ‘sing’ along to Paul’s bagpipe music – but that only made us love him more. 

As much as we all loved him, he always seemed to gravitate towards me. He was very protective of me and would even bark if Paul or the boys came near. 

That’s why I think, after the accident, he ran for help.

Our walk had started as normal that Sunday afternoon in December. I’d wrapped up warm, wrangled him into his harness (he loves to play a game of ‘catch me if you can’ first) and then we’d trotted off to the local woods.

With the road clear I stepped off the central reservation and then bang (Picture: Sue Calver)

After an hour we headed for home, and I got thinking about my busy week ahead, but I was still very much aware of my surroundings.

We reached the crossing on the main road just a few minutes from home, Rocky sat as instructed and then I checked for traffic. With the road clear I stepped off the central reservation and then bang.

Apparently, I flew more than 10 metres through the air after being hit by the ASDA van. Witnesses called an ambulance, others stopped to help and the driver did pull over. And that’s when Rocky ran to Paul. 

Of course, I don’t remember any of this. I was left unconscious, battered and bruised and, as I say, my first memory is waking up in the hospital.

There, a doctor stitched up my head, which had been split open and I had a CT scan that revealed the pain on my left was two broken ribs. But the only thing I cared about at that moment was Rocky.

‘He’s fine,’ Paul reassured me. ‘Though he barked like mad when you were carried into the ambulance.’ I smiled. He really was my protector.

I was left unconscious, battered and bruised (Picture: Sue Calver)

After six nights in hospital I returned to our home in Bromley, and the moment I walked into our hallway, he was there to greet me, jumping up at me and wagging his tail like mad.

‘Rocky!’ I cried. ‘What a clever boy you are. You’re my hero.’ 

Once the initial excitement wore off, he sat up close to me on the sofa, grunting happily while I stroked him. But if I thought he was my guard dog before, he was definitely on high alert now. He didn’t let me out of his sight. 

In the months since, I have learned that the ASDA van driver, who told police he never saw me, didn’t slow down as he approached the crossing.

I was certainly frustrated when I heard this – his lack of concentration behind the wheel could have killed me. But, as he was apparently very shaken, I decided I didn’t want him prosecuted. Instead, he completed a Safe and Considerate Driving Course as an alternative.

Our rescue dog had rescued me (Picture: Sue Calver)

However, I still haven’t received an apology from ASDA directly. And though the company has admitted liability, I’m currently working with a solicitor to try and claim compensation. 

The whole thing has been a traumatic and painful ordeal, but I also know it could have been much, much worse. I’m lucky to still be here to tell the tale.

Mostly, I feel lucky that, on that day, Rocky was by my side. He fetched help when I couldn’t.

We might have rescued him to begin with, but now he’s repaid the favour by rescuing me. 

As told to Julia Sidwell

You can follow Sue on Instagram here

Do you have a story you’d like to share? Get in touch by emailing jess.austin@metro.co.uk

Share your views in the comments below.


MORE : I met a stranger on a bus. Weeks later he flew from France for our first date


MORE : I was one bowl of pasta away from blowing up my house


MORE : The doctor said I should go to the spa for my ‘stress migraine’. Days later I was in surgery



Source

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here