They say every dog has his day, and that was certainly the case for rescue dog Max, who proved his worth when he came to his 82-year-old owner's aid after a nasty night-time fall in Maidstone.
Retired bus mechanic Raymond Burden, who is from the County Town, was taking the 11-year-old German shepherd for one of his daily walks at 4.30am on the outskirts of Mote Park, when he slipped and broke his hip.
His lead trailing behind him, Max left his owner, who was unable to get up, and headed to a nearby roundabout.
Ten minutes later, Max returned, leading two men to the green bank where Raymond was lying, and settled himself beside the grandfather.
The South Park Road resident adopted Max two years ago from Wallace Kennels in Brentwood, Essex.
He said: "I think he was brilliant. When I went to the kennel to see him they said lots of people didn't want to take him because one of his ears droops down. Well it was their loss. I've had him for two years and he has only barked 12 times."
If Max had not taken action, Raymond, whose wife died 20 years ago, believes it could have been several hours before anyone found him, because of how empty the streets are at that time.
Raymond stayed on the ground for about 45 minutes before an ambulance arrived, by which time his daughter Rachel was also on the scene.
He spent three weeks at Tunbridge Wells Hospital, in Pembury following the mishap on November 3, but has now returned home. Max is being walked twice a day by Raymond's grandsons, until the father of three, and stepfather to eight, has fully recovered.
As an engineer for a bus company, Raymond used to travel to Berlin and Poland and would get up for work regularly at 4.30am. Even in retirement he still wakes up before dawn to take Max for his walk.
Raymond has owned 10 German shepherds since 1961, because, he says, of their affectionate nature and good attitude.