A woman has hailed a wonder dog who helped save her dying husband's life - even though the animal belongs to someone else.
Tia woke up Sonia Rampley, 78, in the middle of the night after Roy, 83, suffered a stroke and fell out of bed.
The five-year-old Patterdale terrier began frantically scratching at her hand. The shocked OAP immediately called 999 for an ambulance in the nick of time.
Mrs Rampley, of Norwich, said: 'It must have been about 2.10am and I was lying in bed when Tia started scratching my hand.
Life saver: Sonia Rampley and Patterdale terrier Tia, who saved her husband Roy's life after he had a stroke by waking her up
Recovering: Roy Rampling
'I told her to go back to sleep, but she would not stop.
'She obviously wasn't getting enough of a reaction with her paw so she got her claws out and I had blood and scratch marks on my hand, she was so determined to wake me up.
'I said to her "You don't want to go outside at this time of night do you?" and I took her out to the garden, but she just walked through the door and walked back in again.'
The grandmother added: 'I went back upstairs to the bedroom and turned the light on and my husband was lying on the floor.
'Roy had obviously been there for a couple of hours and was freezing cold as we don't have the heating on in our bedroom.
'He was paralysed down one side - he just couldn't speak or do anything.
'If it hadn't been for Tia I wouldn't have found him until the morning when it might have been too late.'
The couple were looking after Tia and another dog called Fudge for two weeks as part of a local dog-sitting scheme called 'Barking Mad'.
Dogs are found temporary homes rather than put in kennels under the initiative.
Mrs Rampley said Tia had grown very close to her husband while she stayed at their home and loved to sit on his lap on the sofa.
Thanks to her he is now recovering at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
Mrs Rampley added: 'It is so lucky we were looking after Tia. We'll never forget what she did that night.'
Kevin Rowe, who runs Barking Mad at his home in Thorpe Marriott, near Norwich, said the couple were among his best dogsitters.
Man's best friend: Five-year-old Tia relaxes on the sofa
The former Essex Police dog handler has ran the service for the last three years.
Kevin said: 'I'm not surprised. Dogs do the most incredible things and I'm a firm believer that what she did was because of what happened to Mr Rampley.
'Some dogs are just like that. It was not Tia being a nuisance but to say there's something wrong, you need to do something.'
He added: 'Mr Rampley was cold, he was on the floor, an elderly chap, he could have died, but he didn't thankfully.
'It's an amazing story.'
RSPCA spokeswoman Katy Geary said: 'It is even more remarkable because the dog did not know Mr Rampley.
'When you think of the things that some animals can do, like guide dogs for the blind and hearing dogs for the deaf, it shows their remarkable aptitude.
'People who have them as pets know only too well how loyal and intelligent dogs can be.'
Hero dog saved dying OAP's life by waking up his wife after he had a stroke and fell out of bed | Mail Online