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‘It’s a miracle’ - Dog survives two nights in icy river

PUBLISHED: 15:30 05 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:12 05 February 2019

Bella spent two nights in the icy River Yare after escaping but survived. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Bella spent two nights in the icy River Yare after escaping but survived. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

When blind springer spaniel Bella went missing for two nights in sub-zero temperatures her owner thought she was dead.

The nine-year-old dog had disappeared into the icy River Yare, leaving Susan Greig, 62, who lives in Reedham, devastated.

But in what has been described as a ‘miracle’ the plucky pooch survived and is now at home and on the mend.

On Wednesday (January 30), Mrs Greig, originally from Scotland, was in a friend’s house on the banks of river when Bella escaped and disappeared, apparently having fallen into the water.

“I was thinking she’s gone, she’s dead,” Mrs Greig said.

Bella spent two nights in the icy River Yare after escaping but survived. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodBella spent two nights in the icy River Yare after escaping but survived. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Temperatures that night fell to -5C.

“I thought it was inevitable she was gone,” the owner said. “I cried myself to sleep.”

For the next two days Mrs Greig was “devastated”.

Her son and grandsons had travelled to Edinburgh to watch Scotland play Italy in the Six Nations and Mrs Greig spoke to them over the phone but said nothing about Bella.

Susan Greig and her dog Bella, who spent two nights in the icy River Yare after escaping but survived. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodSusan Greig and her dog Bella, who spent two nights in the icy River Yare after escaping but survived. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Her grandsons love the dog, she said, and she couldn’t tell them.

“I didn’t want to spoil their weekend,” she said.

But on Friday evening, Mrs Greig’s friend, Carole Brothwell, was at another friend’s house, when a man called over, saying he had found Mrs Greig’s dog.

Bella had been found a little upstream from where she had vanished, stuck in the mud on the bank.

Bella spent two nights in the icy River Yare after escaping but survived. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodBella spent two nights in the icy River Yare after escaping but survived. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Mrs Brothwell called Mrs Greig and told her the news.

“I thought they had found the body,” Mrs Greig said, “but Carole said, No, she’s alive.”

Mrs Greig put the kettle on to make a hot water bottle and warmed up some blankets.

When Bella arrived back, she was caked in “oily smelly mud”.

“She was at death’s door,” Mrs Greig said.

They took Bella to a vet in Acle, where there was talk of putting the dog to sleep.

But the owner said, “No, she’s got herself here, and I owe it to her to do the best I can.”

Mrs Greig was looking after her friend’s pug over the weekend so Bella instead recuperated at the Brothwells.

“She barked for the first time on Sunday,” Mrs Greig said.

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