Lost and alone on the streets of Christchurch as masonry fell around him during the terrifying earthquake, blind office worker Blair McConnell was led to safety by his faithful dog Kiwi.
Now the loyal labrador-retriever cross is being hailed a hero for navigating McConnell to safety amid the carnage and rubble along the banks of the city's Avon River.
Despite falling concrete and the screams of panic around him, the eight-year-old, curly coat, guide dog stayed on task until a passing motorist stopped and gave the shaken pair a ride home.
Almost completely blind, McConnell, with Kiwi at his side, would travel each day to work at Telecom's Old Exchange Building in Hereford St. The sales rep would normally have been out at lunch on Colombo St at 12.51pm when the earthquake struck on February 22, but was dealing with a customer on the phone.
"I dived under the desk. Kiwi was already under it," he said. "I grabbed his harness and he was quite keen to get out.