The father of a youngster with Down Syndrome who managed to escape from a tumble dryer thanks to the barking of family dog Teddy, has told of their “loving reunion this morning”.
Aaron Duffy, 42, from Conlig in Co Down said his son - Riley Gedge Duffy - is today “recovering from what happened pretty well”.
“He got out of hospital last night and things are getting back to normal, I think,” he said.
“But things could have been very different if Teddy - a Cockapoo - had not barked so long.”
He said “I have four kids and Teddy checks up on them all the time.
“She walks from room to room,” he added. “And if I am carrying on with them she thinks I am hurting them and tries to protect them.
“That is the way she is. Teddy has been a member of the family since she came two years ago”.
Mr Duffy, a businessman, said the enormity of what happened to his son really hit home this morning when he “put the tumble dryer on to dry some clothes and I actually felt sick”.
“Riley doesn’t communicate, he uses sign language,” he added. “He doesn’t always understand things, but fingers crossed he will know the washing machine and tumble dryer are ‘bad’ and to not go near them now.
“If the dog had not been where she was, Riley would have been dead.”
Riley had been playing last Saturday night as his mother Gillian sorted laundry.
But his fun turned to fear when after climbing into the dryer he triggered a cycle as he pulled the door closed behind him.
Mr Duffy added: “If anything comes of it, we want people to remember the story and know that it is something to look out for.
“We don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”