A YOUNG dog who was rescued at just 15 days old has returned the favour after saving her master’s life one year on.
Joaquín Gallardo was exhausted and on the verge of giving up after he fell down a well and was left floating for six-and-a-half hours in an isolated part of Rincon de la Victoria in Spain’s Malaga.
His cries for help had gone unheard during the ordeal – but his faithful dog Tanka, in a scene that could have come straight from Lassie, refused to leave her master.
It was Tanka’s incessant barking that finally raised the alarm, when two young women in a distant house finally decided to investigate the commotion.
They were guided by the barking to a patch of isolated ground and finally heard the yells of Gallardo.
He was stuck in the 10-metre deep well, with no footing and grimly staying afloat. They called the police and the young man was finally hauled to safety suffering no more than a few bruises.
Ironically, Tanka was the reason Gallardo had fallen down the well in the first place.
He had been chatting to his mum via WhatsApp when the pooch ran off after a cat. Gallardo followed, only to plunge into the well, which had no cover or surrounding wall, losing his phone in the process.
He explained to the NIUS newsite: “I had no footing and the water was freezing.
“I was shouting… I’m in a well! Help!”, but no one heard.
“I thought that this was the end of it but I remembered my uncle Pedro, who always told me never to give up.” And he didn’t give up.
For the next six-and-a-half hours Tanka kept barking. Gallardo added: “She barked so much that police told me the dog was a wreck from exhaustion.”
It was a year ago that Gallardo had found Tanka on wasteground near Cartama. He was walking with friends when he heard a strange sound and found her barely 15 days old and very neglected.
He rescued, nursed and cared for her and now Tanka has managed to return the favour.
Last year a man died after falling down a 15-metre deep borehole in Andalucia. Emergency services retrieved the body and said the victim may have been down there for several days.
The man was discovered by a friend in Motril who went out to look for him after realising he had been missing for several days.
It was the second case to take place in just two years – with two-year-old Julen Rosello dying in 2019 in the Axarquia region of Malaga.
It is estimated that thousands of similar unmarked boreholes littering the Spanish countryside.
The shafts, which are often illegal, are drilled in an attempt to find underground water.
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