After their dog died on Bonfire Night, a family was devastated.

Judith and Malcolm Watson’s dog Dexter had been shaking and cowering as fireworks were set off around their home in Hemlington, North Yorkshire.

Just after 6pm, a huge bang caused Dexter to run out of the room, then, moments later, Judith found the terrified dog collapsed in the downstairs bathroom.

Judith, 63, said that she thought he had trembled at the beginning, but he ended up lying flat on the ground.

“Then I realized that he had left.

“I’m not sure where the dogs’ hearts are, but I did press his chest and blow into his mouth. 

Dexter (pictured), 10, a Labrador staffie-cross, was found 'laid flat on the floor' in the downstairs bathroom after running scared from noisy fireworks during Bonfire Night

Dexter (10-year-old Labrador staffie cross) was scared of loud fireworks at Bonfire Night and found himself ‘laid on the ground’ in his downstairs bathroom.

“But it was so fast and there wasn’t anything I could do to get him back.”

Dexter and Malcolm would walk together on Friday night to get their fish and chips fix. 

The couple, however, had to be flexible and allow their pet to stay indoors on Bonfire Night, as many pet owners do.

Malcolm ran to Malcolm’s rescue after the beloved dog fell.

Judith said, “I shouted and screamed Dexter’s name repeatedly.”

“I was only hugging my dog and crying for a very long time.

“I really wanted to hit some thing at that moment. Then, there was an all-powerful bang and then another. He had just gone.

Dexter (pictured) was 'trembling' before he collapsed and died during Bonfire Night. Owner Judith Watson, 63, shouted Dexter's name after finding her beloved dog collapsed on the floor

Dexter was seen ‘trembling before his collapse and death during Bonfire Night. Dexter was ‘trembling’ before he collapsed and died during Bonfire Night. Judith Watson (63) shouted Dexter his name when she found her beloved pet dog on the floor.

‘It did die down eventually. It’s over now. People have enjoyed their “fun”, but the whole of our lives has changed.

“He had still had much of his life, but it was so unfair and absurd.  

An RSPCA study in 2019 they found that 62% of dogs, 54% of cats and 55% of horses suffer from stress during fireworks.

Unorganised display should be prohibited because it can cause distress to animals and people with conditions like PTSD, autism or PTSD.

822k signatures have been collected for a petition calling for urgent revisions to fireworks regulations.

Dexter, Labrador staffie-cross, was also loved by Liliah-Mae, their two-year old granddaughter.

Tips to help dogs stay safe when fireworks are being displayed  

  • You should make sure that your cat or dog has somewhere they can hide, whether it is under furniture or in the cupboard.
  • Make sure your pet doesn’t get away. 
  • In case your pet escapes, make sure they are microchipped
  • Keep your pets safe during the fireworks season.
  • To drown out fireworks sounds at nightfall, shut down all windows and doors.

 Source: RSPCA

Judith said that Dexter and she were best friends.

She said that her son tried to explain to her why he was gone.

“She came in, said, “Dexter’s gone” and then held my husband’s arms.

“She mentioned him throughout the day, and when she got home from work, she again asked us about him. We had to tell her that he wasn’t here.

Dexter, a 10 year old with arthritis, loved walking and playing on the beach.

Judith said, “He thought he had six months to live – he was bright and happy and very energetic.”

Both loved their dog so much that they planned their entire lives around it.

Judith is a Tesco employee in Coulby (Newham) and has worked nights to ensure that Dexter would be always at her side.

He would lay on her side during the day and notify her when it was her turn to rise or when a parcel was about to be delivered.

Dexter was able to tag along in the caravan that they use for their most frequent holidays.

“So many things are changing for us. She said that we have lost one of our relatives.