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‘Hero dog of Hadleigh’ receives award for lifesaving act of kindness

PUBLISHED: 07:30 23 January 2019

Bowza was very proud to receive his PDSA commendation Picture: DON COX

Bowza was very proud to receive his PDSA commendation Picture: DON COX

A compassionate dog who kept an elderly lady warm while she lay waiting for an ambulance has been commended for his kindness.

Bowza is set to make a special appearance at Portman Road for his lifesaving efforts Picture: VICTORIA PERTUSABowza is set to make a special appearance at Portman Road for his lifesaving efforts Picture: VICTORIA PERTUSA

He has been hailed as the ‘hero of Hadleigh’, treated like a pop star by his neighbours and invited to lead Ipswich Town out at Portman Road – but perhaps Bowza’s proudest moment of all came last week, when he was presented with a prestigious award for his lifesaving actions.

The seven-year-old Rottweiler, Labrador and Husky cross – described by his proud own Don Cox as “a big softie” – has been commended by the PDSA after tending to an injured woman on a freezing afternoon in Hadleigh.

Bowza's owner Don Cox made him lay down next to the woman to keep her warm Picture: VICTORIA PERTUSABowza's owner Don Cox made him lay down next to the woman to keep her warm Picture: VICTORIA PERTUSA

Mr Cox was out walking Bowza in November last year when he stumbled across a woman with a nasty head injury lying in the middle of Meadows Way.

When he went to check if she needed help, he found the 79-year-old had collapsed in the street, banging her head and scraping her hand in the process – leaving her unable to get up, and getting colder by the second.

Meadows Way, Hadleigh, where Bowza lay with the injured woman  Picture: RACHEL EDGEMeadows Way, Hadleigh, where Bowza lay with the injured woman Picture: RACHEL EDGE

It was then that Mr Cox had the idea of introducing her to Bowza, who instinctively snuggled up to the injured woman to keep her warm.

Bowza lay with the elderly lady for two and a half hours while she waited for an ambulance, never once leaving her side.

Bowza looks set to lead Ipswich Town out at Portman Road Picture: VICTORIA PERTUSABowza looks set to lead Ipswich Town out at Portman Road Picture: VICTORIA PERTUSA

The woman was taken to hospital where she had surgery for her injuries and is now fully recovered.

At the time, a spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service apologised for any distress caused, adding that “it was an extremely busy day for the trust”.

Bowza with local artist Liz, who painted his portrait free of charge Picture: DON COXBowza with local artist Liz, who painted his portrait free of charge Picture: DON COX

Now Bowza has received a coveted PDSA Commendation in recognition of his kindness.

Mr Cox said he was “over the moon” for his dog after receiving the award in the post last week.

Bowza the heroic dog with his PDSA Commendation Picture: DON COXBowza the heroic dog with his PDSA Commendation Picture: DON COX

“Someone knocked on the door and the postman was there with a parcel,” he said.

“I opened it and it had the letter in there saying congratulations to Bowza.

Bowza has received an award for his lifesaving actions Picture: DON COXBowza has received an award for his lifesaving actions Picture: DON COX

“I’m over the moon. When I asked to him lie down I didn’t know if he was going to do it or not. He stayed there for the whole time.

“He knew what was going on – they have got senses that we don’t have.”

Bowza the Rottweiler, Labrador and Husky cross at just eight weeks old Picture: DON COXBowza the Rottweiler, Labrador and Husky cross at just eight weeks old Picture: DON COX

Bowza has also been invited to lead Ipswich Town FC out at Portman Road as one of the club’s ‘community champions’.

It will be the first time a dog has led the Blues onto the pitch.

Bowza the dog with his PDSA award Picture: DON COXBowza the dog with his PDSA award Picture: DON COX

No date has been confirmed yet, but is expected to be announced soon.


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