A heartbroken dog owner is appealing for the public’s help in finding her beloved pet after he was washed out to sea at Camber.
Jenny Boyle’s chocolate labrador Murphy was swept away by a huge wave on Saturday afternoon (August 20).
Now Jenny is desperate to find Murphy’s body so she can give her faithful hound the funeral he deserves.
Jenny lives in Harrow in London but was holidaying at Park Resorts Camber Sands when the tragedy unfolded at the weekend.
She said: “The tide was really high.
“Murphy used to love the sea, love swimming, and love water.
“I didn’t have him on the lead and he took off down the steps.
“The waves were swilling around your ankles.
“The next thing I know a wave come and knocked him off his feet.
“He tried to climb up the stairs and an almightly wave swept him off.
“I dropped everything, jumped in to get him but he was gone.”
Jenny was thrown against the rocks, but thankfully managed to get out of the sea.
Jenny had eight-year-old Murphy since he was a 15-week-old pup.
In January 2009, when Murphy was less than one year old, he saved Jenny’s life when his owner slipped on a patch of wet grass during a rainy midnight walk in Ireland, breaking her leg and ankle in several places.
She passed out due to the pain, but Murphy licked her face and tugged at her clothing trying to wake her up, and lay on her body, keeping hypothermia at bay.
Jenny was found two hours later.
A tearful Jenny said: “He saved my life.
“I’m only sorry I could not save him.”
Saturday’s incident happened near The Kitesurf Centre on Lydd Road, with those at the centre among those scrambling to help find Murphy.
In fact Jenny says she has been overwhelmed by the kindness and offers of help from local people since Murphy’s accident.
Several have offered Jenny places to stay in the Camber area to allow her to continue her search for Murphy - from caravan parks to residents’ homes.
Jenny said: “There have been literally thousands who have been scouring the beaches every day to find his remains.
“There’s a guy who was staying at the caravan site who organised the social media campaign to make everyone aware.”
News about Murphy’s tragic accident spread quickly on social media, with well-wishers sharing the dog’s photo extensively on social networking website Facebook.
Members of the Facebook group The Real Marsh Watch, proved a great source of support and comfort for Jenny.
Jenny also praised Megan Clarke, local coordinator for the Dog Lost website, which has featured Murphy’s story, and friend Carol Starkey for their support.
Jenny said: “I would like to say a massive thank you to all the people who helped.”
Jenny returned to Camber Sands earlier in the week to pay her respects to the much-missed Murphy.
Fighting back the tears, she told the Observer: “We went and threw some roses into the sea, his favourite toy and some dog biscuits, so he did not go hungry.”
She added: “He was loved by everybody, even people who were frightened of dogs.”
Cinque Ports Vets in Rye have offered to cremate Murphy when he is found, to allow Jenny to take her beloved pet on his final journey home.
Jenny said Murphy loved to eat ham and she would ideally like him to be cremated with a packet of his favourite snack.
Jenny is urging anyone who finds Murphy’s remains to take him to Cinque Ports Vets.
Alternatively, please contact Barry Brewer via 08448003220 who will come and collect.
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