Elderly shire horse Jeremy, who nearly drowned in a pond in England on Wednesday, had his donkey mate, Misty, nearby throughout the ordeal. She never left his side, firefighters report.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service came to the aid of Jeremy, 27, who was bogged in the pond for three hours before being pulled free.
Firefighters from Broughton and Heywood found the one-tonne gelding up to his neck in the pond at Scotson Fold Farm in Radcliffe.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue’s specialist Water Incident Unit used their animal training to rescue Jeremy, and were assisted by the RSPCA.
Jeremy was stuck in the pond from 9am for more than three hours before being hauled to safety.
Looking on were Jeremy’s owners, Jenny and Jayen Renshaw, and his best friend, Misty.
Jayen said: “I stood back I can’t handle seeing him being moved around, it was a close call. The vet gave him a lot of antibiotics and stuff to calm him down. He’s an old guy – he’s 27 years old.
“Misty was standing over there with him. I think she had to turn away at times too! They’re like little and large – they’re best buddies.”
Station Manager, Kevin O’Connor said Jeremy was up to his neck in water and suffering from hypothermia.
“It kept trying to spin in the water every time we got ready to pull it up, it would turn round. It was very close to dying, but the donkey never left its side.
“We also had to protect the owners of the horse from danger. It was lucky no-one broke their leg.”
This wasn’t the first time Jeremy has had to be rescued from water by firefighters. Jenny said: “Many years ago he went in the canal and the fire brigade were involved in getting him out then, too.”