Vets are battling to save the life of a dog who is believed to have spent up to eight days lying beside the body of his dead owner.
The devoted Jack Russell cross, aptly named Jack, was discovered extremely emaciated and dehydrated at the pensioner's side last week.
But, despite being hours from death, the loyal nine-year-old pet was devastated to be prized away from the remains of the 72-year-old woman, who had adopted him from a rescue home five years ago.
The identity of the deceased owner is being closely guarded until all family members have been informed of her passing, but she is understood to be a retired nurse who moved to Scotland as a young woman.
Worried friends visited her remote countryside home at Kinnell, near Arbroath, Angus, when they hadn't heard from her in over a week before finding her dead.
The cause of the woman's death is unclear as yet, but it is understood she died of natural causes.
Jack was rushed to a local veterinary practice, where he has spent the last few days undergoing intensive treatment.
He is now being cared for at the Arbroath home of Ian Robb, founder of the Help for Abandoned Animals Charity, who said on Wednesday that the dog's condition is still "touch and go".
Mr Robb said: "The wee man is not out of the woods yet. He is a very, very sad wee boy at the moment."He was found by this lady's side and we believe he could have been there for eight days. We think he was less than a day from death."
People who read this story also read
- Male stripper 'recklessly exposed himself at busy city restaurant'
- 14-year-old boy dies after falling while climbing a fence on holiday
- Vandals target postbox painted gold for Andy Murray's Olympic medal
- Son tells pensioner murder trial how he found his 80-year-old mother's body
- Nurse 'did not call ambulance' for elderly patient who fell in care home