You might think you would have to be barking mad to run into the sea at this time of year.
But that is exactly what 25-year-old Laura Marshall did in memory of her beloved dog Max.
Max, a German Shepherd, died recently after cancer that he beat four years ago returned.
Laura was so impressed with the care that she and Max received from the vets charity PDSA, both when he was treated in 2014 and when he passed away, that she wanted to raise some money for them.
Yesterday, she took the plunge and did a sponsored dip wearing a dog suit from Newburn Bridge near Seaton Carew.
Laura has raised around £800 in sponsorship for the charity so far.
She said: “Four years ago my dog had testicular cancer and the PDSA successfully removed that and gave me another four years with him.
“We sadly lost Max last month, it was a bit unexpected but they did everything they could to help me through it; everything from getting his ashes delivered to the house.
“I couldn’t fault them for what they do and the work they do and more people should fundraise for them.
“I wanted to give something back for giving me that extra time with him.”
It was a chance examination during a visit by PDSA’s PetCheck roadshow in Hartlepool that resulted in the cancer first being spotted in Max in 2014.
The free pet health “MOT” identified a large swelling in Max’s testicle, which turned out to be a cancerous tumour.
Laura, of Catcote Road, was not working at the time but she qualified for free treatment with the PDSA.
Sadly, Max developed a large tumour in his stomach and he had to be put to sleep.
But Laura said PDSA once again provided best of care when it came to the end of his life.
Laura worse a T-shirt with a photo of Max on for her bracing dip.
She spent several minutes paddling and rolling in the surf despite the cold temperatures.
Laura added: “My goal at first was to raise £400 because that is the cost of a life saving operation, but I have doubled that.”
PDSA are the UK’s leading vet charity. Every year it provides 2.7 million veterinary treatments helping over 470,000 much-loved pets and brings peace of mind to owners.
If you would like to give to the charity see www.pdsa.org.uk/donate