Heroic coach driver saves Labrador from busy motorway | TeamDogs

Heroic coach driver saves Labrador from busy motorway

“I knew it was very dangerous but I’m a massive dog lover.”

Tansy Liu

Posted 35d ago

Richard and Paddy (Image: Richard Pimm)

A dog-loving coach driver wouldn’t have imagined building a special bond with an affectionate Labrador after saving his life from the fast lane of the motorway – but that’s what happened to a heroic Oxford Tube driver on the M40.

Richard Pimm, 48, from Didcot, Oxfordshire, was driving a long-distance coach of 50 passengers to London when he spotted a dog running down the outside lane of the M40.

Richard said: “That Saturday was supposed to be my weekend off, but I was asked to come in and help out because they were short of drivers.

“I was driving down the motorway, and the next minute all the traffic started skidding. I was hoping that there wasn’t going to be another accident, but then I saw this dog in the outer lane.

Three-year-old Paddy was frightened and knew he's in the wrong place (Image: Richard Pimm)

“He’s running around, panicked, and everyone's swerving, trying to go round, but nobody was helping him. It’s a bit of a nightmare.

“I’m a massive dog lover. I knew it was very dangerous, but it was a dog on the motorway, and it’s a life at the end of the day. “

The bus driver decided to pull over to help the frightened dog, a three-year-old Red Fox Labrador, who was believed to have jumped over a 6ft fence from a house built near the motorway.

He said: “I told my passengers that I was going to save this dog’s life and went down onto the motorway. As soon as I crouched down and called him, he quickly came over to me.

“We clicked straight away. He knew exactly what was going on, and he was in the wrong place.”

Richard and Paddy (Image: Richard Pimm)

Luckily, the traffic was crawling when Richard went down, so he managed to stop the cars and brought Paddy, an award-winning Labrador, safely onto the coach.

He said: “I phoned the police because I worried that there could be a massive accident in a minute, but I didn’t hear back from them.

“I had 50 passengers on my coach on the hard shoulder, which was not a good place to be, so I took the dog to London with me.”

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“As soon as he was on the coach, the passengers were Facetiming their friends and family to share the news. People were giving him water and treats. He brought the whole coach together.”

After they arrived in London, Richard took Paddy on a walk, then got him back on the coach and returned to Oxford.

Paddy's seat (Image: Richard Pimm)

An old couple had a lovely journey together with Paddy and shared Richard's rescue mission on Instagram, which later received an overwhelming response from social media users, with a man commenting that the bus driver should "receive a medal" for what he's done, and he's an "absolute hero".

After signing off his shift that night, Richard took the dog to a local vet and discovered that Paddy was microchipped. 

READ MORE: Puppy who chased fox over Kent cliff rescued after being missing for two days

Richard added: “It was really hard to leave him because I wanted to keep him. He wasn’t pulling the lead all night, but when I sent him to the vet, he was doing it like he didn’t want me to leave. He knew I just saved his life.”

The compassionate driver was relieved to hear that Paddy was soon reunited with his owners, who travelled from Stokenchurch in Buckinghamshire to pick him up.

The owner got in touch with Richard not long after their reunion and became “good friends”. They are planning to meet up this weekend to bring Richard and Paddy together once again, allowing the pair to continue building a relationship.

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