IT was 5am, dark and there was no-one around to help as Sharon Smith lay on the ground after breaking her leg in three places.
That was until her dogs sprang into action.
In scenes reminiscent of Lassie, Leela and Pepper listened to their owner’s cries for help and ran back home to alert her husband John.
Sharon, 44, a preschool assistant of Sullivan Way, Waterlooville, is now hailing her hounds as heroes.
Sharon explained how the drama unfolded.
She said: ‘I heard Leela scratch the door, so I took both my dogs out on retractable leads.
‘I left the front door ajar and just walked down to some grass.
‘A fox came from across the houses and the dogs saw it.
‘Then I just went down with this almighty crack.
‘I landed on the grass and the dogs were jumping up and licking me.
‘I started to shout for help, but as it was 5am there was no-one about.
‘I kept saying to Leela “Go and get daddy”.
‘She looked at me and went and ran off. Pepper ran after her. The dogs were both just running round and barking constantly. It woke my husband up. He knew it was not normal as they are usually quiet.’
In her desperation, Sharon crawled across Sullivan Way on her hands and knees.
She said: ‘I was a bit scared if a car came round.’
By the time John went rushing out of the door, his wife was crawling up the pathway.
The incident happened on December 24 and Sharon spent most of Christmas in hospital, having had a metal rod inserted in her leg.
Her saviours are her dogs Leela, a Jack Russell Labrador cross, and Pepper, a cocker spaniel.
Seven-year-old Leela was a rescue dog from Stubbington Ark.
Sharon added: ‘It was brilliant – the way she looked at me and knew after so long that I was not moving.
‘She knew exactly where to go. She went straight to the door.’
Sharon is now repaying her dogs with lots of cuddles, although is limited as she is laid up in her living room.
John, 45, said: ‘If they hadn’t barked, Sharon could have been out there for another hour. The dogs are part of the family, and, in a sense, they did what they should do which is to look after each other.’