HE WILL be remembered as a hero who not only had many friends – canine and human – but helped to save three women from drowning in Langstone Harbour last year.
Dave the dog, who was loved by many on his Hayling Island home, was put to sleep on Saturday following a short illness.
The black labrador, who was seven, helped to save a mum, daughter and niece, who thought they were going to die, from the estuary of the harbour last September, after spending the day on the south-east Hayling beach.
Dave’s owner Guy Jenner, 50, dashed into the sea with his son Tom, 13, and his pup, when the women were seen panicking and unable to keep their heads above water.
Dave swam Nicola Godliman, 42, back to shore.
The family also rescued her 14-year-old daughter Poppy Standen and 19-year-old niece Kiera Kerr.
‘They had become trapped within some very strong currents between Hayling Island and Portsmouth. The biggest hero of the day was my gorgeous dog Dave who came dashing out into the sea with us and helped bring the girls, Nicola, Poppy and Keira back to the safety of the beach,’ Guy said.
Nicola and her family had an emotional reunion with Guy, Dave and Tom at the beach, days after the incident.
Guy, who runs Guy’s Dog Day Care business, told The News of Dave’s passing with a ‘very, very, heavy heart’.
He said: ‘Unfortunately, Dave became very ill last week and spent an entire day at our vets for various tests. It became clear there was only one action to take. My beautiful and courageous Dave dog was put to sleep on Saturday June 16.
‘I cannot put into words how we all feel. It has been an awful few days. I run a small dog day care business on Hayling and having Dave’s friends turn up has been extremely difficult as they try and find him when they arrive. This will obviously get easier as time goes on, but for the meantime, it’s so difficult.
‘I have received dozens of emails, texts and cards. It is amazing how many people Dave’s death has affected. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of them.
‘My Dave was one of the luckiest dogs. He was adored by my family and friends. He made people laugh with his ability to carry huge branches and swim with them. He was quite simply a fantastic, loyal, brave and loved dog. He lived a short life, but what a life it was.’
Guy added: ‘Dave will be missed and remembered by many people and dogs. He was simply one in a million.’