Graham Schneider from Dumfres had taken his family and their dog Kia, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, to Carsethorn for lunch at the Steamboat Inn on Tuesday.
The group then took a walk on the beach and let Kia paddle in the water before the tide began to carry her out – and both the family and dog began to panic.
Recalling what happened, Graham told the Dumfries Courier: “Kia loves the water, but she went out too far and got caught in the tide going out. She was disappearing, and I was panicking, and I was thinking ‘that’s it, I’ve lost her.'”
At that moment however, publican Blazej Reczko, 33, saw what was going on and leapt into action.
Blazej said: “I could hear someone shouting from the pub, and I looked out of the window before one of our bar staff ran in and said that a dog was drowning.
“I could barely see the dog, she was just a spot. I noticed the canoe that we’d put on the wall of the pub for decoration, and I decided to just cut the ropes – there was really no time to think.”
Blazej rowed for over a mile and a half to Kia and was with her in around ten minutes, but he revealed that he struggled to keep her in the canoe.
He said: “I got to her pretty quick, and got her in the canoe but she was terrifed and freezing and scared of the paddle. I put the paddle down and calmed her down, but everytime I picked the paddle up again, she panicked and tried to jump back in the water.”
After being only able to use his hands to paddle, Blazej realised that battling against the tide was futile and decided to let the currents take them, ending up a mile away from where they started before he could begin their hour long journey back to shore.
Describing the moment Blazej and Kia made it back to the beach, Graham said: “Blazej just collapsed onto the beach on his hands and knees, and I run up to him and picked him up.
“I was welling up, and I gave him a big cuddle. People might say it’s just a dog, but Kia is part of the family. The man is a hero.”
Blazej says that he just feels happy to have been able to help, but hopes that the situation acts as a warning to other dog owners.
He said: “Please be careful when the tide is going out. Don’t let your dogs swim too far or throw sticks too far in for them.”