A HELENSBURGH dog has been hailed a hero after she alerted the family to an elderly neighbour in distress.

Lola, a Sharpei English Bulldog cross, was spending the night with her owner’s parents in Cove when she became agitated just before 7pm.

Lewis and May Johnston, who were looking after Lola for the night, got ready to take her for a walk and let her outside to take the dog for a walk.

But instead of walking she ran to the house next door, home to 83-year-old Gwen Divers, and barked at the bathroom window.

Lewis said: “Last Thursday, we were watching Lola and she started to get very agitated at the back door, so I got my coat on thinking she needed a walk.

“I opened the door and she ran straight to my neighbour’s house and started barking at the window and jumping up. I pulled her away and managed to calm her down.

“It wasn’t until after I had done that I heard a very faint ‘help’ coming from inside the bathroom.

“I called Gwen’s daughter-in-law, who came straight from work, and we went in to find that she had fallen in the bathroom and was unable to get up.”

With the help of another neighbour, John Wilson, they managed to get Gwen up and seated. Thankfully she was unharmed but was left badly shaken by the fall.

Gwen has expressed her thanks to Lola and the neighbours. She said she had fallen around 1pm and was unable to get up.

Lewis added: "She had been there for around six hours and if it hadn’t been for Lola she might have been there all night."

Lola’s owners in Helensburgh, Kalman, Isla, Lewis and Laszlo Szeles, were proud when they heard about the actions of Lola.

Kalman said: “Lola is a great dog and we all love her, especially our two boys, aged five and 11.

“We are very proud of what Lola did as the elderly woman in question had slipped and fallen on her bathroom floor at lunchtime and if Lola had not heard what others did not she would have been there until her carers arrived the next morning.”

Elaine Booth, NHS community engagement officer, has praised Lola for her actions.

She said: “This is an amazing outcome and could have been potentially life saving. Lola is a family pet who has not been trained to be an assistive canine, and this makes her an exceptionally special animal.

“Thankfully, on this occasion and with most falls, they don’t result in serious injury. Most falls and trips result in minor injuries, nevertheless falls can also cause major lacerations, fractures, head trauma, and other injuries that may lead to hospitalisation, disability, nursing home care, and premature death.”

“The fear of falling and an associated general loss of confidence can result in depression, isolation, and a decline in physical function.”

She added: “I would like to invite residents to a Living it Up and Technology Enabled Care Drop In session at Alzheimer Scotland in Helensburgh on January 27, from 10am-4pm, and in particular anybody that would like help to assess and manage their risk of slips, trips and falls.”

“Or if you just want to find out more about Technology Enabled Care equipment come along and have a refreshment and chat about living healthier, happier and safer.”

For details email elaine.booth3@nhs.net.