WHEN Ernest Reid went for a walk one evening the last thing he expected was his dog to get an electric shock from a lamp-post.
But that’s exactly what happened when his two-year-old poodle Scampie cocked his leg against along a footpath in Pine-hurst.
Ernest, a retired electro-mechanical engineer, said that he thought his dog was lucky to be alive after he went flying from the 240 volt shock.
The 68-year-old said: “He is only just about coming back to normal.
“He was deeply traumatised. He tried to run off across the field away from me and I could barely hold him on the lead.
“It was very upsetting. He is part of the family. I don’t know what I would do without my dog. I rely on him for his companionship.”
When he left his home for his usual walk near Tulip Tree Close between 10pm and 10.30pm on May 16, Ernest smelt burning but it did not occur to him until later what it was.
He said: “I thought it was just someone burning rubbish on the allotments. I should have known but I couldn’t place it.
“I didn’t know what the smell was until Scampie got the shock and I suddenly remembered it was an electrical short.
“On our way back from the walk I shone the torch along the lamp-posts and there was smoke coming out of them.”
The lamps along the path have been out of operation since January, meaning that Ernest, who has to use two crutches to walk as a result of his fibromyalgia and an accident, has to use a torch to see along the path.
Ernest and his neighbours reported the issue to Swindon Council on five different occasions, who on each occasion reported it on to electricity provider Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) who own the electricity cables powering the lamps.
SSE say on each occasion an engineer attended and rectified the issue, but this time the incident was caused by a moped left burning against the lamp-post, which caused the wires to fuse and short circuit.
But the incident has left Ernest concerned for the risk the lamp-posts pose to other people.
He said: “Where I use the crutches I sometimes stop and lean against them. If I had got a shock and it had knocked me out or killed me because I have angina I wouldn’t have been found until the following day.
“There are children who use the parkland on a Saturday and if my dog hadn’t been shocked it might have shocked them.”
A spokesman from SSE said: “We were called shortly after midnight on May 17 by Swindon Council and we were advised that there had been an incident involving the electrocution of a dog. We responded within half an hour of the report and it was made safe.”