A GRANDMOTHER has described how her over- protective pets almost got her killed when they prevented firefighters rescuing her from sinking into mud.

Lynda McDermott, 49, was walking Rottweilers Rocky and Bruno at Waldridge Fell, Chester-le-Street, County Durham, when disaster struck on Monday.

She said: "I love them to bits, but if I didn't have to walk them, then I wouldn't have been there in the first place.

"They are gorgeous dogs but a lot of people are terrified of them, so I decided to take a route where there was no one else.

"Rocky walked across a stream and Bruno and I followed. As I was walking across some boggy ground, I suddenly realised I was stuck up to my ankles.

"I was trying to get out but the more I struggled, the deeper I sank. It was up over my wellies at this point and I was starting to panic."

Ms McDermott rang a friend, Julie Sewell, on her mobile phone, and she arrived with a broom but was unable to get her out. A passer-by then called the fire brigade.

Ms McDermott, of Lowther Avenue, Chester-le-Street, said: "I couldn't feel myself sinking, it was almost as if the water was rising. It was weird and very scary.

"By the time the fire brigade arrived, I was up to my waist and I was petrified and freezing. But Rocky wouldn't let the firemen come anywhere near me, he was jumping, growling and baring his teeth.

"He thought he was protecting me from people he didn't know, he was stressed as well.

"I couldn't believe it. There I was, slowly sinking into the bog and my rescuers had arrived to drag me out - and the dogs were stopping them.

"I know they were only acting out of total loyalty to me and looking after me, but this kind of help I could have done without."

Countryside warden Lee Rankin came to the rescue after Ms Sewell gave him some dog biscuits.

Ms McDermott said: "Bruno saw the biscuits and trotted over and then even Rocky decided he wanted some.

"While they were distracted, the fireman put a rope around my waist and pulled me out - it took about half an hour to get me free.

"I had been in there about three hours by that time and I was exhausted and freezing."

Mr Rankin said: "The firemen couldn't get anywhere near her. We had some biscuits so I tried to lure them away. The firemen were pretty nervous and so was I.

"I am just glad everything worked out well."