Pet Heroes: Part 1

Pets make my life more enjoyable every day. Whether I’m discovering a “surprise” in my shoe, stroking a soft kitty belly, or writing with a cuddly critter on my lap, every moment I spend with them is a delight. They often make me laugh. They rarely make me cry, though, I must admit, some of the heroic pet stories I discovered online for this blog post series certainly did. It appears pets will do anything to save the humans they love –even learn to dial the telephone.

In 2006, a beagle named Belle, from Orlando, Florida, saved her owner’s life one day when his sugar levels crashed. Kevin Weaver had trained Belle to bite down on the 911 speed-dial button in case of emergency. When Weaver collapsed, Belle called 911 by hitting the appropriate button. While it’s not that difficult to train a dog to press a button, how Belle was able to determine that she was in an emergency situation is a bit of a mystery. Some experts believe that her sense of smell alerted her to Weaver’s drop in blood sugar.

In 2008, a German shepherd named Buddy used a phone to summon help for his owner, Joe Stalnaker, of Phoenix, Arizona, when the man had a seizure. Stalnaker trained Buddy, an assistance dog adopted from Paws with a Cause, to fetch the phone and press a programmed button to call 911 if he exhibited seizure symptoms. This incident was actually the third time Buddy had successfully alerted medical personnel to Stalnaker’s condition by phoning for help.

Do your cats, dogs or iguanas know how to use the phone? If so, do they rack up expensive long-distance charges or call out for emergencies only? Let us know in the comments!

About Julie Perkins

A self-professed "crazy cat lady" and slave to three furry masters, Julie loves all things fuzzy. Throughout her life, she has been owned by cats, dogs, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, fish and even a hermit crab. A freelance writer who has perfected the fine art of typing with one hand (because there is a cat on top of the other one), she lives in Colorado with her husband and a menagerie of critters.

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