Two 11-year-old boys from Littlehampton have been praised for their swift actions, rescuing a blind and deaf dog with dementia from the boating lake at Mewsbrook Park.
Josh Brown, 11, went into the water to help the drowning 14-year-old pug-spaniel cross and friend Morgan Jones, 11, worked with him to lift the dog out of the water.
The owner told Josh's mum their actions had saved the life of her dog, called Frankie.
The pair have been described as 'mini heroes' by Littlehampton deputy mayor David Chace, who owns Mewsbrook Park Cafe and rewarded them with a free lunch.
David said: "It was such a pleasing thing to see young ones stepping up and being so grounded. They are mini heroes."
Morgan said they had been playing football in the park on Thursday when they first saw the dog, walking with its owner.
He said: "We started stroking him because he was going really slowly. The owner said it was 90 years old."
About half an hour later, he and Josh went to fill up their water bottles and on the way back, they saw the dog in trouble in the lake.
Josh said: "I saw the dog drowning, it was going under, so we decided to run really fast and I got in the water and grabbed it by the collar."
Josh pushed Frankie towards Morgan, who was on the steps at the top of the lake.
Morgan said: "I got hold of its collar but the collar fell off and the dog fell back in."
Josh went in again and pushed Frankie towards Morgan for a second time, taking him in his arms.
Morgan said: "He was really heavy but we managed to get him out. There were a lot of people watching from the bridge."
Emily Wells, Josh's mum, was in the park at the time but the first she knew of the drama was seeing him return to her soaking wet from head to toe.
Emily said: "I am always down here and I always see the owner. The dog is very old, it is totally blind, deaf and it has dementia.
"The boys have been friends since they started school. Everyone here thinks they are amazing.
"The owner came over to me and said 'your son has just saved my dog's life'. She would not have been able to get in the water herself."
Claire Jones, Morgan's mum, said she was incredibly proud of the boys. She has recently started allowing her son a bit of freedom to go to the park on his own, as he will be starting high school in September.
Claire said: "It is really nice to see the reactions from people, saying well done. It is really rewarding to get the recognition for what they did. We feel very proud.
"So often, people see what looks like a group of teenagers out and they think they are up to no good, it is the automatic impression, but actually they are good lads.
"They just want to meet up and have a good time. If anything, this can go a little way to change that perception."