A COUPLE have thanked passers-by who saved their dog’s life after she was trapped in their car on one of the hottest days of the year.
Yellow Labrador Dinah spent about 20 minutes locked in Robin and Ginny Batchelor-Smith’s Peugeot 206 after the keys were accidentally locked in the boot.
The couple, who live in Lower Assendon, had taken Dinah for a walk at Maidensgrove Common on Monday last week and were giving her a drink of water before getting back in the car.
Mrs Batchelor-Smith, 75, placed her keys in the boot while she was filling up five-year-old Dinah’s water bowl.
She said: “It was scorching hot and getting hotter by the minute. She finished her water and I said, ‘go on, get in the back’ and then slammed the thing down.
“I wasn’t until we did that, that we realised the central locking had been activated. Everything locked.
“Only after I’d closed the hatch and heard the ominous sound of the central locking doing its own thing did I realise I’d left my keys inside. I thought ‘oh my God’. A car can heat up tremendously fast.”
The couple, who run the Orchard Dene Cottage bed and breakfast, tried desperately to open the doors, but to no avail.
Mr Batchelor-Smith tried in vain to break a rear window with half a breeze block he found nearby. The couple couldn’t phone anyone as their mobile phone was inside the car and were facing a race against time.
Fortunately, they managed to flag down a passing 4x4 containing two men and explained what had happened.
The men turned round and then returned 10 minutes later with pieces of wood, a metal coat hanger and a ball of string.
They made repeated unsuccessful attempts to release the lock but then another dog walker joined the rescue attempt and fetched a soft steel rod from his car with which they managed to open the car and free Dinah.
Mrs Batchelor-Smith said: “Dinah was very hot. She was panting like mad so we gave her another drink of water. She hasn’t suffered any ill effects and the window is just grazed. Those men are knights in shining armour as far as I’m concerned. They were an absolute godsend.
“The temperature had gone well up to the thirties inside the car.
“If anything comes out of this it might be good to remind the public not to leave their dogs in cars because they can die.
“It’s nice to say thank you to people who have helped you out of what was looking like a massive problem because what would we have done without them?
“It gives you a bit of faith in human nature when people turn up and do things like that.”
• Do you know who the men were? Call reporter David White on (01491) 419444
or email firstname.lastname@example.org