A BUILDER who was about to be savaged by a pack of foxes was saved by an overweight pet Labrador.
Joe Curling, 28, was working at a home in Woodlands Grove, Coulsdon, on Friday when he was set upon by the foxes.
He told the Advertiser: "I had to bring some wood up to the top of the garden for a bonfire we were making.
"The garden is very long, about 160 feet. When I got to the bonfire, two large foxes came out from behind a wooden panel.
"They were growling at me, and I just froze. I knew they were coming for me, it was very intimidating."
Just as Joe thought the foxes were going to spring, he suddenly saw the family dog, Honey, leap through the garden.
"Honey was asleep just before I'd gone out into the garden," said Joe, from Coulsdon.
"She must have heard the foxes growling and rearing up at me, because she flew down the garden. I couldn't believe how quick she was. She jumped over the rockery and I was sure she would fall but she didn't.
"She placed herself in between me and the foxes and started growling at them. At that moment I knew I had to run and that this was my chance."
Joe ran down the garden and into the safety of the house, but Honey the Labrador remained in the garden; guarding the doorway for another 15 minutes.
"I was very shaken," said Joe. "I was on the phone to my brother when it happened and he said I screamed like a girl.
"I don't want to think of how it would have ended if Honey hadn't saved me.
"I gave her loads of treats to say thank you. She saved the day."
Croydon's answer to Lassie wasn't always such a wonderdog, however.
She was adopted by the Jones family three and a half years ago, and weighed a whopping 48kg.
Owner Linda Jones, 40, said: "I had two Labradors but then lost one, and my chocolate Labrador Blue was very lonely, so we got a rescue dog.
"Honey was so fat, we had to really get her weight down, and she did enjoy ripping the recycling bags open at first, but she is an absolute angel.
"She is very protective of her territory, which is why I think she ran to save Joe. I think it's the bitch in her.
"I have two kids and she has never been a problem, she is a lovely dog. We are very proud of her bravery."