A heroic life-saving dog died after being poisoned by toxic blue and green algae while out walking with his owner.
Devastated Andrea Mclellan, 45, had let six-year-old Benjamin cool off in a river near her home in Fife, Scotland, after a long walk in sizzling hot weather.
Hours later, Andrea found the pooch, a Jackadoodle, violently vomiting which she thought was due to him spending too much time in the sun, the Daily Record reports.
The next morning, she found little Benjamin had covered the floor in vomit and blood-filled diarrhoea and rushed him to the vets where he died.
Andrea, who is a type 1 diabetic, has opened up about the death of her "fluffy little hero", who saved her life by warning her when her sugar levels dropped.
She told the Daily Record: "It was a hot day and we had been in the house and garden for most of the day.
"In mid-afternoon, we went for a little walk and on the way back up the road. Right behind my house is a little burn and for 19 years I’ve had dogs going in this little burn.
"There was nobody out so I let him off the lead to have a paddle and to cool down. He jumped in, it was only a couple of inches deep because of the heat and lack of rain.
"He drank the water, I saw it myself, which he’s done many times before. When we got in, I gave him a drink and he ran about for a little bit more and had his dinner.
"About an hour later, I noticed he’d thrown it all up. I thought he’d maybe been affected by the sun so I gave him a bit more water but 10 minutes later, he’d thrown it up again."
Andrea said she went up to bed for an early night but Benjamin became "very agitated" and refused to settle, despite being left in the cool kitchen.
She checked on him in the morning but was greeted by a horror scene, and found Benjamin covered in vomit and blood-filled diarrhoea.
Benjamin was rushed to the vets, where he died, and Andrea has since been told the pup ingested blue green algae which blooms in hot, dry weather.
She said: "The vets did everything they could. Every IV drip they gave him was basically coming straight out the other end in thick, black blood.
"They called me every few hours to update me but at 3am on Sunday they called and said he had passed away in his sleep.
"After a day or two passed, I contacted SEPA and within a matter of hours they told me it was very likely blue green algae.
"They said it’s in most rivers but if it’s cold and the river is high, the concentration won’t bother dogs.
"I’ve been back down to where it happened and when you look really closely you can see the algae.
"I assumed that this only happened in stagnant water but it’s not. It can happen in fresh, running water. It can also happen in salt water too.
"The only time in lockdown he’s been off the lead is those 10 minutes and now this has happened."
Heartbroken Andrea said Benjamin was her life line for years, helping her if she fell over, and waking her up if her blood sugar dropped too low.
She said: "I’ve got late onset diabetes and he only learned how to alert me to my blood sugar level in the last couple of years.
"He had not been trained or anything but if I fell asleep and my blood sugars dropped, he would come up and pull at my hair with his paw until I woke up.
"But if my blood sugar levels dropped really low and I fell over, all I had to do was whisper the word help and he would run riot around the house barking his head off to get attention.
"He knew what the word help meant. I’m absolutely heartbroken and everyone who knew him feels the same.
"I just don’t want anyone else to have to go through this and to be careful about letting their dogs run in water."