Pet Heroes: Part 4

Pets are truly amazing heroes. A few hours spent searching the Internet revealed that pets have saved human lives in numerous situations, some of which we’ve already discussed. They can dial 911. They can wake their owners when dangerous gases are present or the house is on fire. They chase off burglars and fight intruders. The pet stories you’ll hear about this time are equally amazing.

In 2004, a shepherd/collie mix named Sadie saved the life of her Ashland, Wisconsin owner. While cutting down storm damaged trees on his property, Melvin Reiten was pinned to the ground by falling debris. Sadie ran to the house, barking for Reiten’s wife. When her barks went unnoticed, she spent the next two hours rushing between the accident site and the house. She alternated between lying by Reiten, inadvertently warming his body, and running to the house to bark. Eventually Reiten’s wife realized something was wrong and followed Sadie. Rushed to the hospital by helicopter, Reiten survived.

In 2009, Oscar, a dachshund/schnauzer mix, roused Thelma Portocales from a deep sleep with his incessant barking. Portocales, of Millsboro, Delaware, had removed her hearing aid for the night and didn’t hear Oscar’s barking for some time. When she final awoke, she found that her husband, George, was missing from bed. Oscar led her to the bathroom, where she found her unconscious husband. She called 911. Doctors later told Portocales that Oscar likely saved her husband’s life. He suffered no permanent damage from the cardiac episode.

In 2011, a 12-year-old Shih Tzu named Babu, saved 83-year-old Tami Akanuma from the tsunami that devastated the coastal city of Miyako in Japan. When the earthquake struck off the Tohoku coast, the lights in Akanuma’s home began to flicker. Babu began whimpering and dragged Akanuma to the door. Once leashed and outside, Babu led the elderly woman in the opposite direction of their usual walking route, up a nearby hill. Minutes after they reached the top, the tsunami struck, flattening their home and the district around it.

Do you know any courageous or heroic pets? Share your stories in the comments below!

For part 1 of the heroic pets series, click here, for part 2, click here and for part 3, click here.

Julie Perkins

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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