A falling tree branch could have killed Ron Graham. Luckily, his dog, Willow, pushed him out of the way just in time.
Mr Graham, aged 35, from Croydon, was walking in Richmond Park last Monday when the huge branch of the ancient oak started to fall. Unaware of the danger, Mr Graham continued his morning stroll ignoring his labradoodle's warning barks. Willow then launched herself at him, causing them both to fall. Immediately, the branch crashed to the ground, centimetres away from where they lay.
As Mr Graham lay in shock, Willow ran to the nearby path to alert passers by. She was out of sight for only 5 minutes, before returning to check on her owner. Although shaken, Mr Graham sustained no injuries and was able to return home shortly afterwards. "Willow has always been a brilliant dog," said Mr Graham, "but I am still amazed that she saved my life. She got an extra-large bone as a special treat when we got home".
Park officials said it is highly unusual for trees of this kind to fall, but the large overhanging branch had become unusually weak. Walkers are advised to stick to the main paths during windy days like last Monday.
Since the incident Mr Graham believes the bond he has with Willow has deepened. "Willow comes to work with me now. I trust her with my life - she has saved it once already".
This is certainly a case of a dog being man's best friend.