IT sounds like an adrenaline-driven tale straight out of Lassie, the fondly-remembered TV series about the Collie dog that was always rushing to the rescue.

Orca is different, it is a Labrador, but other than that the similarities are striking. This newly-trained rescue dog saved his disabled owner after her wheelchair veered off a path in Heslington and ended up in a water-filled ditch.

In keeping with the fictional scripts of such doggy derring-do, Orca persisted to seek help after the first rescuer he found ran off to find a phone.

He made a second attempt to bring assistance to his stricken owner, who was eventually rescued by fire-fighters.

His owner thinks Orca is "just the best" - a sentiment with which everyone, dog lovers and the unconverted, will surely concur.

Updated: 10:28 Monday, May 19, 2003