A Barnes author escaped an unhappy ending when his dog and best pal were rescued from the Thames last week.

Russell Shaw, 75, who has published a book about his dog called Easy – A Dog’s Life, thought the final chapter had come too soon when he almost lost his dog Easy and best friend Eddie Elligot, who was walking the dog in Chiswick.

Mr Shaw had a far from easy day on Wednesday, January 15, when Easy darted after a squirrel and his pal Mr Elligot lost his footing and fell in the river.

Mr Shaw said: “I can’t believe I nearly lost the two of them.

“Eddie couldn’t get out and became weak and hypothermic trying to keep his head above the water.

“If it wasn’t for the Chiswick RNLI lifeboat crew coming to rescue him, I dread to think what would have happened.”

Mr Elligot, 51, from Barnes, was taken to Charing Cross Hospital by ambulance and, despite suffering from hypothermia, was released later the same day.

But poor pooch Easy, who was rescued by his owner from Turkey, was left on the riverbank, only to be rescued by the lifeboat crew who went back to find him.

Mr Shaw said: “I was frantic about Easy. I thought he might be lost for good. We’ve been through so much together that I couldn’t bear to lose him.

“When I found out the London lifeboat crew had not only found Easy, but were also looking after him at the station, I was thrilled.”

John Pooley, a volunteer RNLI crew member at the charity’s Chiswick lifeboat station, said: “Eddie was in a bad way when we pulled him from the water so it was nice to see him safe and well.

“He was asking about the dog while we were taking him to the ambulance so the crew went back and managed to find Easy on the riverbank.

“We were more than happy to look after him for few hours.”