The paw-fect way to say thanks
OREANDA-NEWS. Two power engineers who saved a litter of new-born puppies have had two of the dogs named after them as a thank you.
The day-old German Shepherd pups were at risk of freezing to death when the power supply to their farmhouse went off during the storms which battered Scotland in January. But animal-loving Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD) engineers Keith Hay and Bill Collie came to the rescue with a mobile electricity generator to keep them warm. Now their owners, Geoff and Sharon Hutley from Mulben in Scotland, have officially registered two of the pups with the Kennel Club as ‘Keith Hay’ and ‘Bill Collie’ as a tribute to the engineers’ life-saving actions.
Sharon recounted: “We woke up on the morning of the storm with no electricity and the house was freezing. We’d already lost four pups from the litter within hours of them being born the day before and the thought of losing any more was unbearable, but it was the reality we were faced with.
“We had them all wrapped in blankets with a hot water bottle next to our wood burner, but it was still too cold and I really didn’t think that they would survive much longer. When my husband called SSEPD’s customer services to report that the power was off we hadn’t even thought about asking for help with the pups, but when the operator asked if we had any concerns, he mentioned the situation we were in. The operator herself wasn’t even sure what she could do, but she promised to speak to an engineer.”
The operator spoke to Bill Collie and after carrying out checks to ensure that all customers in the area were provided for, he and Site Manager, Keith Hay, arrived at the farm with a spare generator. Bill explained: “I spoke to Geoff Hutley on the phone and I could hear how hopeless he felt the situation was for the remaining puppies. Initially Keith and I weren’t sure how we could help, but when we checked and found we had a generator available we knew we had to get it to the farm before any more of the litter was lost.”
Bill added: “We’re genuinely delighted to have these two named after us and it’s great to see them now, fighting fit and ready to go on to their new homes.”
Stuart Hogarth, Director of Distribution for SSEPD, said: “As a power distribution company, our primary aim is to keep the lights on, and during the extreme storms we experienced this January, we also aimed to ensure that all of our customers were safe, warm and fed while we worked to get their power back on. But it’s not just about people, we want to help whenever we come across a vulnerable situation, and in the past our engineers have helped with the welfare of animals, especially in rural communities. As a dog owner myself, I can really identify with the anxious times faced by Mr and Mrs Hutley during the storm, and I’m delighted that our engineers were able to help them.”
The puppies are now ready to go to their new homes, but Keith and Bill were invited to meet their canine namesakes at the Hutley’s farm before they departed for pastures new.