'Forever grateful': Community steps up after man's dog dies on Hampstead Heath


Skye died unexpectedly on Hampstead Heath near Parliament Hill - Credit: Matthew Bradfield

A South End Green man whose dog died unexpectedly on Hampstead Heath has said he is "forever grateful" for the people who stepped in to help.

On Saturday morning (October 9) Matthew Bradfield, 34, was walking rescue dog Skye near Parliament Hill.

After a game of fetch, he said Skye suddenly ran over, gave a "whimpering yelp" and started having a seizure. He then died in Matthew's arms.

The grieving owner said: "I am forever grateful to the wonderful people who were nearby at the time and came to help me.

"About five different passers-by came to help me move Skye’s body and get him to the nearest vet. At that point I was in complete shock.

"For ten minutes I just sat clutching him in the grass while total strangers tried to calm me down, show me where I had to take him and try and get me to contact my family."

Skye the dog

The dog was known for his signature blue bandana - Credit: Matthew Bradfield

Seven-year-old Skye had lived with Matthew since he was young, after being found living in a box on the streets in Texas, America.

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The puppy was flown to Boston, where Matthew was living at the time, before the pair moved back to London in 2017.

"By this time Skye had become a completely different dog to the scrawny, terrified puppy I had adopted," Matthew said.

"He grew, filled out and became more and more comfortable with people and our bond grew stronger and stronger.

"He became the most handsome dog, with his husky blue eyes and tail, his gorgeous coat and his ubiquitous blue bandana."

Skye went everywhere with his owner, including on dates and sailing, and would guard Matthew's nieces and nephews as they slept.

"I was never full comfortable if he wasn’t with me," he said.

"He also had a huge impact on the lives of others and made an impact on everyone who got to know him."

Skye the dog

Matthew Bradfield had owned Skye since he was a puppy - Credit: Matthew Bradfield

Matthew said he was "blown away" by the kindness people have shown since Skye's death.

He has received over 300 messages of support from people on the social media site Nextdoor from people who heard about what happened.

He said: "The messages from friends and family who knew him, and those that didn’t, have been so lovely and really helped me at this time."

"I want to thank everyone who has been in touch for the remarkable empathy and kindness you have shown."