Headline in here, here,

sir, - I am writing to express my thanks to the gentleman who came to my help on the beach at the Tweed estuary on January 7.

I was walking my dog and although I was watching the incoming tide and thought I was taking sufficient care I found I was in danger of being marooned on the raised part of the beach across from the lighthouse. I crossed the narrow stretch of shallow water with my dog following, but when I reached dry beach I saw that he had hung back.

The water breached the sandbank and was now rushing in very fast between us. Lenke, a Finnish Lapphund originates from the Arctic and his breed avoids water (except as ice which he is well designed for). Despite calling and offering biscuits he just sat, watching, (presumably waiting for the wave to subside).

But I knew it would cover the sand he was on and was already getting deeper; so much so that I was unable to wade back to him.

The sand was moving beneath my feet and waves were already threatening my balance, despite the stick I carry for my disability.

The beach was deserted, except for a couple of distance dog walkers who must have heard the desperation in my call and I thank my luck that one came over to help, and waded through the fast running tide and with the aid of biscuit lures, fastened Lenke onto his own dogs and managed to drag him back, which took some strength and balance as Lenke resisted all the way.

I was quite overcome with anxiety and the gentleman, having guided Lenke and I to safety, took his dog off in the opposite direction before I realised I had not even asked his name.

I do hope he reads this and realises just how grateful I am. Lenke has been a loyal companion to me for the past six years since he was a puppy, on one occasion risking his own life when he stayed by me when I was attacked by two Alsatians, and generally helping me around the house (picking things up when bending is painful for me etc). I would have been totally devastated to watch him drown.

I also hope others read this and take more care than I did. I have often walked there and watched the incoming tide, thinking I knew its twists and turns but never have I seen it move in so quickly (less than a minute, from dry land to swirling depths).

The sea needs to be treated with caution, no matter how familiar we think we are.

PAT JENKINS (and Lenke),

Swinton Mill Cottages ,

Coldstream.