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Dog owner issues warning about dangers of water for small dogs

A warning has been issued to small dog owners who use Ockwells Park by a man who witnessed his beloved family pooch almost drown.

Richard Pickering took French bulldog Rupert for a walk in the park on Monday, September 30, in search of one of the two new pedestrian bridges over the park’s brook.

The one-year-old pup was off his lead and exploring the new route when suddenly he vanished out of sight.

Richard thinks the pup mistook a covering of duckweed on the surface of a stream for firm ground.

He said dogs like Rupert aren’t made for swimming and ‘sink like bricks’.

“Under he went,” said Richard.

“It must have been a good 10 seconds before he came up to the surface again.”

Rupert made his way to the opposite bank and Richard attempted to join him. 

“I went to find the new bridge to get over to him, but I couldn’t find it – a bridge too far,” Richard said.

When Richard finally reached the other side the dog was nowhere to be seen, but after a lot of whistling and shouting – ‘all of a sudden he appeared’.

“It shook me up really bad,” said Richard.

But other than looking like ‘something out of the Black Lagoon’ Rupert was unharmed.

He added: “It’s a lovely park, don’t get me wrong, but for dogs like that it can be a death trap.”

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