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Pet Heroes “The Heroes of Hayling Island”

When people and dogs work together they can achieve truly remarkable things. And so it was proved, in September of 2017 on Hayling Island, Hampshire. Nicola Godliman, her fourteen-year-old daughter, Poppy and her 19-year-old niece, Keira were enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the beach near to the entrance of Langstone Harbour, when disaster struck.     

Nicola had been happily watching her daughter splash around with her cousin no more than a few metres from the shore. But in the blink of an eye, the shrieks of laughter turned to screams of panic. All of a sudden, the girls were being pulled out to sea by the tide. ‘Poppy was an absolute state, screaming “help me, help me”’ recalls Keira.

At that point, Nicola ran in to try and help the two girls. But the current was too strong, even for her. In a flash, all three family members were in dire straits and the beach was all but empty.

Luckily, four have-a-go heroes were on hand to change the course of this story. Guy Jenner, his son, Tom and their two dogs, Dave and Baxter. On hearing the screams of Nicola, Keira and Poppy, the four wasted no time in wading into the fray. Dave the Black Lab pulled Nicola straight back to the edge of shore whilst Baxter the Spaniel set about rescuing Keira and Guy and his son pulled Poppy from the water.    

Guy recounted after the event that, ‘If we’d waited for seconds, we would have had a very different story, a very different outcome’. Nicola and her family will be forever grateful to Dave, Baxter, Guy and Tom. She says ‘they will forever be our friends and forever be our heroes’.

And they’re certainly ours as well. This awesome foursome proved heroes really do come in all shapes and sizes.   

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