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Special Needs Dogs: 5 Times Dogs Saved Lives of Owners

By    |   Tuesday, 06 Jan 2015 05:45 PM

Special-needs dogs have a remarkable capacity to not only identify a crisis but also to follow commands that may save lives. In some cases, these special dogs have used their intellect, training, and deep commitment to save the lives of their owners who were completely incapacitated.

Even to the point of sacrificing their own lives, these canine companions demonstrate why they are not only man's best friend, they are a huge asset to the disabled and their families.

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1. USA Today reported the story of a service dog that sacrificed its own life to save the life of a 4-year-old child. The guide dog for the visually impaired belonged to Dave Furakawa, who was walking his young son to school. As they were crossing a street, a driver ran the stop sign and the dog was struck by the car.

Despite being gravely injured, the dog still managed to push the young boy out of the path of danger. Sadly, the special-needs dog's injuries were severe and Simon died on the way to the emergency veterinarian clinic. Furakawa said of his companion dog of more than four years: "This is true loyalty and courage."

2. A service dog named Malachi, who was trained to assist insulin-dependent diabetics, saved the life of his owner, reports The Sun Times. Maria Tello was asleep with her dog lying next to her when her insulin pump began "beeping in a series of descending tones," which was an indication that Tello's blood sugar was dropping too far.

Had the dog not responded, Tello might have gone into a diabetic coma or died. However, the dog not only used all four feet to get his groggy owner to wake up, he also retrieved her purse, which contained the glucose tablets she needed to stabilize her blood sugar.

3. In 2013, a service dog named Samantha saved the life of her disabled owner who was choking. Dog Journal tells the story of how owner Candace Lines was able to signal to her dog to activate her medical alert bracelet. Because she was choking, Lines was unable to answer the response call.

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But Samantha not only bit the bracelet to activate the call, when her owner could not respond, she barked at the phone, which alerted the operator to a serious medical situation. When they arrived, emergency crews found Lines unconscious — and special-needs dog Samantha is credited with saving her life.

4. On the tragic day of 9/11 when terrorists attacked America, a service dog saved the life of its owner who was on the 78th floor of the World Trade Center. NBC's "Today" show reported the story of Roselle, a yellow lab who was named an American Hero Dog after she navigated her blind owner down 1,463 steps after the attack.

Not only did they get out of the building, Roselle took her owner to a nearby subway station and got them underground, safe from the falling debris. Owner Michael Hingson said, "While everyone ran in panic, Roselle remained totally focused on her job. While debris fell around us, and even hit us, Roselle stayed calm."

5. A specially trained Cardiac Alert Dog saved the life of his owner by detecting a dangerous drop in blood pressure, reports Anything Pawsable. Edward Colie, who has a high-risk heart condition, was visiting a friend when his dog Eric began pawing at his leg.

When his owner did not react, the special-needs dog jumped into Colie's lap and "thumped his head on his chest" to alert his owner there was a potential cardiac issue. Colie recognized the dog's alert and quickly left for his nearby home, where his wife was able to get him to emergency care for a stroke. Service dog Eric is credited with the early alert that minimized stroke damage and saved his owner's life.

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Special-needs dogs have a remarkable capacity to not only identify a crisis but also to follow commands that may save lives. In some cases, these special dogs have used their intellect, training, and commitment to save the lives of their owners who were completely incapacitated.
special needs dogs, pets, saved, lives, owners
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2015-45-06
Tuesday, 06 Jan 2015 05:45 PM
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