A WONDER dog who could operate cashpoint machines and who saved the life of his owner has been honoured at a ceremony in Woodford Bridge.
Labrador Endal, who is having a film made about his life by the producer of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, helped nurse his master, a Gulf War veteran, back from the brink of death after he was injured while serving in the Royal Navy.
Owner Allen Parton received a pet tribute tag in honour of Endal at a service at the Paws Forever Pet Tribute Garden, which forms part of the PDSA Animal Cemetery in Ilford. It will now be hung in the garden as a lasting memorial to the much-loved canine who passed away earlier this year.
After regaining consciousness in hospital, Mr Parton, an ex-Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer, had no recollection of his wife and children.
He said that golden labrador Endal brought him back to life following his injuries and was instrumental in helping him regain basic motor skills and the ability to speak.
He added the service had been a fitting tribute for the animal. “Apart from all the help he gave me, he was my best mate for 13 years. After the guns of the battlefield fall silent, the battle of daily life rages on.”
Endal even had the special honour of being Mr Parton’s best man at his wedding when he re-married his wife Sandra.
She attended the memorial service alongside his new assistance dog, EJ (Endal Junior), who Endal helped train up.
In 2002 Endal received the PDSA Gold Medal Animal Gallantry and Devotion to Duty – recognised as the animals’ George Cross – for once more helping save his master’s life after he was hit by a car.
While Mr Parton lay unconscious his faithful companion put him in the recovery position, covered him with a blanket and alerted staff at a nearby hotel.
Sadly, Endal who suffered severe arthritis, was put down earlier this year after a stroke.