Terrified dog collapses and dies during Bonfire Night fireworks

·3-min read
A family has been left devastated after their beloved pet dog was literally 'scared to death' on Bonfire Night.

Judith and Malcolm Watson's dog Dexter had been shaking and cowering as fireworks were set off around their home in Hemlington.

Dexter who died on Bonfire Night
Dexter, who belonged to a family in Middlesbrough, collapsed and died during Bonfire Night fireworks last Friday. (Reach)

A family say they are devastated after their pet dog collapsed and died during Bonfire Night fireworks.

Judith and Malcolm Watson said their dog Dexter was terrified by the noises outside on 5 November, which left him cowering and trembling.

Just after 6pm, a loud bang caused the Labrador staffy cross to run in fear into the downstairs bathroom of his owners’ home in Hemlington, Middlesbrough.

Mrs Watson, 63, found him collapsed on the bathroom floor.

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“I thought he was just in there trembling at first but he was laid flat out on the floor,” she said.

“Then I realised he had gone.”

She added: “I don’t know exactly where dogs' hearts are but I tried pressing his chest and blowing into his mouth.

“But it was so quick and there was nothing I could do to bring him back.”

She called her husband, Malcolm, 67, who rushed home.

“I was screaming and shouting Dexter's name over and over," said Mrs Watson.

“I was just hugging the dog and crying for a long time.

“At the time I really wanted to hit something. There was that almighty bang then another one came when he had already gone.

“It did die down eventually. And it's all finished now - people have had their so-called fun but our whole lives have changed.

“He still had a lot of life left, it's so unfair and so senseless.”

Dexter was 10 years old and had arthritis but still enjoyed his walks with his owners.

On Fridays, he would usually go with Mr Watson to the fish and chips shop where he would receive a treat of a sausage, but because of the noise on Bonfire Night the couple kept him indoors.

Their son Michael was Dexter’s original owner but he went to live with them because he didn’t get on with his other dog.

(Reach)
Dexter was left terrified by the Bonfire Night fireworks before he collapsed and died, his owners said. (Reach)

Mrs Watson said Dexter was a great friend to the couple’s two-year-old granddaughter, Liliah-Mae.

“My son had to try and explain to her he's gone,” said Mrs Watson.

“She came in and said 'Dexter's gone' and held her arms out to my husband.

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“She kept mentioning him during the day and even when we got her home she asked about him again and we had to say, ‘No, he's not here’.”

She said Dexter “still thought he was six months old - he was so bright and happy and highly energetic”.

Mrs Watson, who works at Tesco in Coulby Newham, would work night shifts so someone could always be at home to look after Dexter.

“So many things are going to change for us. We have lost a member of our family,” she said.

Watch: Bonfire Night fireworks light up London skyline

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