By Paula Lasalandra, October 15, 2006
I've written to you before about my Golden angels. One sadly passed four years ago. I still have my 4-year-old male named Sage. I told you about how he, as Shea did before, alerts me while I'm sleeping when my blood sugars get too low. I have been a diabetic for 22 years and insulin dependent for the last 9 years. I write to you now because Sage saved my life last Wednesday, October 11th.
I accidentally took too much insulin before I went to sleep and had a severe attack. Sage woke me up with a blood sugar of 32 which caused an irregular heart beat. He was able to open the fridge and get my orange juice but it was too far gone. He then did something he had never done before. He brought me the telephone! No, he didn't dial 911 and neither could I. I was able to speed dial my Dad just before I passed out and he alerted the police and where they could find a key.
When they arrived they found Sage, he was at my side with his head on my chest. After an ambulance ride to the hospital and several hours of trying to raise my sugar levels, I was released. When I returned, I could not stop hugging and kissing the little guy. The next day, I made him the biggest steak I could find.
Thank you for caring about so many people and their beloved Goldens.
P.S.: There is a part of
the story that I left out. It was that after Sage
brought me orange juice and the telephone, he left the
room two more times to bring me his ball and his
Frisbee! Only a Golden owner would understand that!
A Very Sad December 2009 update from Paula:
Rochelle, on Oct. 26, I lost my 7 yr. old golden Sage. He appears on
your Hero page for saving my life in a diabetic shock incident. He wasn't sick,
in fact, had just had his check-up. He was playing with my 2 yr. old golden
Shiloh, when he just walked into the bathroom and lay down. He looked odd, so I
called the vet's office, called work, and was getting ready to get him to the
vet's office when he died in my arms. They did an autopsy and found a node on
his spleen ruptured and he bled out. I know you understand the pain I have been
in. My dog Shiloh has been lost without his buddy. Thank you for all you do for
all of us who visit your web site often. G_d Bless you always.
Dog Smells Man's Balls, Detects Deadly Cancer
By Mark Motz, Smooth Operator, October 6, 2006
PA - Magic, a 2 year old Golden Retriever, reportedly
saved his owner's life by detecting potentially deadly
testicular cancer, according to the heroic pets owner
Josh Ramsey. Ramsey breathlessly describes.
"We found Magic abandoned at a dog pound 3 months back,
and we knew he was special then." Recanted a shaken and
relieved Ramsey. "About 2 months back, he kept sticking
his snoot into my crotch area, and sniffing my scrotal
region. No matter how hard I tried to discourage him, he
persisted, and then I heard a story about a dog who
saved his masters life by sniffing her breast cancer. On
a hunch I went to see my doctor, and sure enough, he
found malignant testicular cancer, in an early curable
stage, thank god. My doc says he believes that certain
cancers emit chemical hormones that only dogs can pick
up with their keen sense of smell, although I like to
think that Magic was consciously trying to save my life,
although I'm sure that's kind of silly. In any case,
deliberate or not, I'm grateful beyond words. He'll be
getting steak for dinner tonight for sure!"
Wins Bark of the Day
Herald Sun, June 14, 2006
Hero pet: Goldie helped save Mark and Sue
Snowdon and their two children from a house
fire by waking them up with his barking.
Picture: Richard Finnila
A PET dog
has helped save a family of four from a house fire by
waking them up with its barking.
Mark and Sue Snowdon and their two children woke at
1.30am to the sounds of their golden retriever Goldie
The 18-month-old dog's alarm call alerted them to a fire
in the car port of their Darlington home, near
Beaudesert, Queensland, police said.
The family escaped uninjured, but their home was
engulfed in the flames. The family car was also
"It is unknown how the fire started and the area has
been guarded overnight so further investigations can be
carried out this morning," the spokeswoman said.
Also yesterday, a house in Mount Isa in Queensland's
northwest was gutted in a blaze.
Police said the residents of the Oxide St home were in
the living room when they noticed smoke coming from a
bedroom about 6pm.
They ran out before the entire building went up in
lump’ Rory turns hero: A HEROIC dog has proved he is
man’s best friend after putting the bite on two would-be
By Claire Warrender, The Courier, May 26, 2006
Rory the golden retriever rushed to the rescue,
forcing the assailants to flee empty-handed, when owner
Tim Proctor was attacked.
Tim was hit over the head with a branch as he walked in
woods near his Glenrothes home with Rory and his other
dog Bracken on Tuesday. While the 42-year-old chef was
not seriously injured, he revealed yesterday things
could have been far worse had Rory not leapt to his
Tim, who runs the restaurant at Balbirnie Park Golf
Club, was walking at Stenton Pond. He set off at around
9 pm, through a wooded area and across a bridge,
intending to do a circuit of the pond. However, finding
the ground too muddy, he was heading for home when the
men struck at 9.25 pm.
“I had my hood up because it was quite dark and it was
raining but I was aware of somebody coming at me from
the left,” said Tim. “He hit me with a big branch
of a tree and knocked me down. “I managed to pull myself
back up and even hit the guy but there was another man
and he grabbed hold of me from behind and had hold of my
Suddenly Rory jumped up and bit the man who was
struggling with Tim. “Rory had a good hold of him and
the guy was screaming,” his owner continued. “I didn’t
want him kicking the dog so I pulled Rory off and that’s
when the two men took off.”
Apart from a mark on his head and a sore arm, Tim was
none the worse for his ordeal and was able to call the
police straight away on his mobile phone.
He said he was delighted but surprised at Rory’s
reaction as the dog is normally a “placid lump.” “Rory
was great. I would never have thought he would do that.
“It’s usually Bracken who’s more protective but she was
away at the time.”
Fife Police’s Detective Constable Paul Cameron said, “We
can only assume the motive was robbery. “Luckily, Mr
Proctor’s dog scared them off but we would like to trace
the men responsible before they harm someone else.”
One of the men is described as being in his early 20s, 5
ft 11 in tall and thin, with a thin face and pointed
features. He was clean-shaven with short hair or a
shaved head and could have had a gold hoop earring. He
was wearing a dark jersey or sweatshirt, faded blue
jeans and white or silver trainers.
The second man was also in his early 20s and spoke with
a local accent. He was around 5 ft 6 in, of athletic
build, with short, light-coloured hair and was wearing a
dark tracksuit top with an embroidered logo on the
chest, light blue jeans and silver or white trainers.
Mr Proctor also saw a silver Peugeot parked near the
Jahangir restaurant. Anyone with information should call
Saves Couple From Carbon Monoxide
KSL.com Local News, Amanda Butterfield reporting,
November 28th, 2005
Jordan couple is alive tonight, thanks to their dog.
Their house was full of carbon monoxide. They were
asleep. The dog woke them up. "She's just a pup,
sometimes a little bit annoying. But now she has the
respect of the whole family."
couple stayed in their house much longer, they might not
have made it, according to firefighters. Thankfully they
had their golden retriever.
couple is getting treated at LDS hospital in a
hyperbalic chamber. As for the dog, Maddy, she likely
had no idea she was doing anything heroic. She just
needed to go outside.
have house dogs, maybe there's a hidden alarm there for
this morning Maddy woke up her owners. So, the husband
got up and took her outside, then noticed his wife was
acting strangely -- dizzy, nauseous lethargic. So he
called the fire department. They arrived, the husband
passed out, and neighbors got concerned.
Ticshner/Neighbor: "Sharon said an ambulance had been
here, taken them to the hospital with carbon monoxide
measured the carbon monoxide in the home, and it was off
McKone/ Salt Lake City Fire Dept.: "It's what we call a
silent killer, tasteless, odorless, and it does kill."
couple will have a total of three sessions in a
hyperbaric chamber. Filled with pressurized oxygen, it
flushes the body of carbon monoxide.
avoid this, fire crews suggest a carbon monoxide
detector. Dennis McKone: "I recommend everyone in the
valley and state have carbon monoxide detectors in their
Ticshner/Neighbor: "That's where we're headed now, on
our way out to buy one."
couple is expected to fully recover. And as for Maddy,
the family has nicknamed her "Miracle Dog."
Heart Walk speaker saved by his dog:
Golden retriever woke owner during heart attack
Mazur, GM Today Staff, May 5, 2006
Hanrahan kneels next to his golden
retriever, Murphy O'Dawg. The dog woke him
up while he was having a heart attack.
Hanrahan will deliver the keynote speech at
Saturday's Heart Walk at Washington County
owners are satisfied if their dog follows basic
It’s all gravy when your dog also saves your life during
a heart attack.
That’s what happened to Mequon resident Mark Hanrahan,
who will be the featured speaker at the Washington
County Heart Walk, the American Heart Association’s
premier fundraising event on Saturday at the Washington
County Fair Park.
"When I had my last heart attack I was sleeping," said
His dog, a golden retriever named Murphy O’Dawg, sensed
something was wrong. "He usually sleeps on the floor
next to my bed," said Hanrahan. "That night, he kept
hitting me with his nose until I woke up."
As it turns out, Hanrahan was in the throes of a massive
heart attack. Nobody knows exactly what tipped Murphy
off that something was wrong, but Hanrahan said his
cardiologist suggested that some dogs are sensitive to
electrolyte abnormalities, also known as hyponatremia,
which occurs during a heart attack.
Hanrahan doesn’t find the explanation far-fetched.
"There are dogs that can sense an epileptic fit before
it starts and smell cancers," he said.
Once awake, Hanrahan said he knew immediately what was
happening. His wife entered the room and "saw that I was
gray in color. The EMTs took me to St. Mary’s in
Ozaukee. They stabilized me there and then took me by
ambulance to Columbia Hospital in Milwau-kee."
Hanrahan was told he had to have bypass surgery
otherwise he would die. He was only 54. Hanrahan
underwent the surgery and says that he is still
recovering. "I can’t turn a wrench like I used to." He
has also radically changed his lifestyle. "I eat low-fat
foods. I quit smoking."
But Hanrahan’s 2001 heart attack wasn’t his first. He
suffered his first heart attack in 1987 while flying an
airplane. "The first time I didn’t know it was a heat
attack," he said. "I felt nauseous, had pain across my
back, pain in my chest, felt weak. There was pain along
my arteries." Luckily he was able to safely land in
Janesville and was hospitalized.
Murphy is also playing a huge role in Hanrahan’s
recovery. "Murphy takes me exercising every morning. We
walk between 2 and 4 miles, depending on the weather. He
keeps an eye on me.
Murphy was also awarded the title of Cardiac
Rehabilitation Assistance Dog by the Americans with
Asked if the heart attack changed his view on religion
and faith, Hanrahan replied: "The guy upstairs knows
when my time is up. All I can do is just do the best
with what I’ve got."
is a Hero Dog
By Deborah Dolen, Sarasota, Florida
42 year old author who lives on Sarasota Bay. In April
of 2005 I lost a Golden Retriever I had adopted a few
years ago to cancer. Apparently she was bred too young
and abused. But her last two years with me were
wonderful. She had her own beach to run on and pelicans
to chase. She was only 7 when she passed quickly.
After I lost Gabby, I decided I wanted another mature
Golden Retriever. I found Cyndy and Cyndy was very
honest. She had a 10 year old Golden who apparently was
rescued from being "put to sleep" for no reason. The
oldest rescue dog she had at that time. Cyndy was not
sure Jasmine was right for me, but after seeing a photo
of "Jazz" I fell in love and took a four hour drive.
Cyndy was great and Jazz was also. Off we went back to
Jazz has always been pleasant, is able to play in the
water and have a good life, but I would never and I mean
EVER--bet she would be a guard dog. Way too nice. One
Saturday night at 3:00 AM I was sleeping in my second
floor bedroom and Jazz was sleeping next to my bed. She
started growling. I had never heard her growl but I did
not wake totally up. I was asking her to quiet down and
then before I knew it a man stepped into my sliding
glass door (he had been pulling it up to unlock it) when
she was growling. As he stepped in she went for his
throat and I mean his jugular. She got him a few times,
and I did not know until later he stabbed her a few
times. He turned to run from her and fell off the
building, paralyzing himself from the waist down. He did
I thought he was a goner. He is in jail for a good long
time. I was able to call 911 and Jazz looked very
happy--and then I noticed she was seriously injured as
she seemed smiling and happy she got him. Blood was
everywhere as I looked around.
At 4:00 AM I was carrying her to the vet and he was
reluctant to perform heroic measures on a 10 year old
dog. After I explained what happened he took her right
in and spent 8 hours in surgery with her. I did not care
the cost and neither did he once he understood. So, that
was a month ago and she is very happy to be back home.
The tons of stitches did not seem to bother her. If I
did not adopt Jazz and treat her so well, I would not be
able to write this story. Chances are, I would not be
here. But I sure am happy she made it. Now she sleeps in
front of that darn sliding glass door. If it were me I
would opt for the bathroom or anywhere else after that!
NOTE: Very sadly, Jazz left for The Bridge
on September 7, 2005, a few months after this incident,
as a result of the surgery.
True Hero [account found at Dog of the Day]
Bailey: Two and a half
years old; Sonora, California
Bailey is the most
amazing dog you will ever meet. My son Benjamin is five
and is handicapped. I bought Bailey to be a companion
for my son two years ago. Benjamin is blind and has
crippled, so he gets around in a wheelchair. Bailey and
Benjamin are inseparable and love one another to death.
Recently, Benjamin was in an accident. He was on top of
a short ramp with Bailey. Upon entry to a shop, Benjamin
fell backwards and was rolling down the ramp at full
throttle. His wheelchair was two meters away from a busy
road, during peak hour, and Bailey ran as fast as he
could to stop and save him. Bailey did just that, but
was injured and lost his leg in the process, nearly
losing his life. Benjamin was two inches from death but
Bailey saved him, putting his own life on the line.
Bailey is a true hero. This is his picture from last
Christmas, and as precious as he was then, he is more
precious to us now than ever.
The American Red Cross, Saginaw Valley Chapter
Owners: Russell & Amy Struble
"Man's Best Friend"
are people who love animals - and then there are people
who REALLY love animals. Count Amy Struble in the latter
category. In fact, she's not quite sure what put her on
a quest to get another dog, but when she met Scout,
there was no doubt. Scout turned out to play an
important role in saving the family from a devastating
It was Halloween night in
2004 at approximately 2:30 a.m. when Scout, the Strubles'
10-week old Golden Retriever pup, began crying. Amy got
up, let Scout outside, and when she came back in the
house, saw smoke pouring out of the great room vents.
She woke up her husband, Russell, and quickly roused
their three children, ranging in age at that time from 6
years to 19 months. They gathered up the children, Scout
and their other dog, Whaley. Within minutes after
calling 9-1-1, they watched in shock and disbelief as
the windows in their home filled with smoke.
They never went back in.
The smoke alarms did not
go off until the kids and Amy were downstairs. The
Struble family firmly believes that Scout waking up
provided them with the precious extra minutes needed to
get out of the house safely. Needless to say, they feel
lucky to be alive, and thankful for their golden puppy.
saves tot and himself
By Anthony Dowsley, Victoria's Herald Sun, January 26,
JACK the wonder dog was on his way out before his
heroics saved his biggest fan -- Hannah.
The eight-year-old golden retriever's strained barking
at the sight of toddler Cassandra floating face-down in
the Harding family's backyard pool on January 14 saved
her life, says her dad Justin.
His yelps caught the attention of her mum Rose who ran
to the pool and yelled for her husband.
Mr Harding performed what he said was the "worst CPR",
which he had learned in grade six.
He said little Cassandra felt like a "rag-doll" as he
desperately tried to resuscitate her before paramedics
Last Tuesday, after 11 days at Royal Children's
Hospital, she was back out and playing with her beloved
Mr Harding said Hannah and Jack, now king of the house,
were reunited and his daughter was keeping him
"We were thinking of getting rid of him because he needs
constant attention and he's always digging," he said.
"But he's been getting everything since, even lamb
best friend sniffs out brain tumor
By Deborah L. Shelton, Photo by Amanda Whitlock, St.
Louis Post-Dispatch, April 12, 2006
CLICK HERE to see a May 24, 20065 video
from KSDK News Channel 5. Be sure to click on the video
icon at the page. Next, click on "COVER STORY" and then
on "Dr. Wrigley: A Life-Saving Pet."
Steven Werner feeds his 11-year-old dog
Wrigley a treat.
Steve Werner suspected his
health was in trouble even before his golden retriever,
Wrigley, started sniffing around. His symptoms were
vague back in June - occasional ringing in his ears, a
general feeling of unease. His doctor couldn't pinpoint
a problem. Tests came back negative.
Then in July, Wrigley started to behave strangely. Every
day when Werner would curl up next to his beloved canine
at his Brentwood home, she would turn, focus on his
right ear and sniff doggedly.
"I thought it was just a friendly sniff," Werner said.
"But after four or five days, I realized she seemed to
be focusing on something. At some point, I noticed she
was always sniffing at the opening of my right ear. She
would set herself up and intently smell my ear."
One day, Werner was watching TV when a feature about
cancer-sniffing dogs grabbed his attention. What he
heard propelled him back to his doctor's office.
An MRI of Werner's head revealed a brain tumor the size
of a pingpong ball that had spread into the inner canal
of Werner's right ear - the very ear Wrigley had been
Werner, 40, had a rare nonmalignant tumor called
acoustic schwannoma. If not caught in time, it could
have caused a stroke or permanent facial paralysis. He
underwent surgery in Los Angeles in February to remove
it and has been recuperating at home.
Because of their keen sense of smell, canines have long
been used to sniff out guns, bombs, cadavers and illegal
drugs, among other things. Dogs also have been trained
in medical settings to detect impending epileptic
seizures or identify tuberculosis in undiagnosed
Now, researchers are studying the effectiveness of dogs
in detecting cancer. "A couple preliminary studies
suggest that a dog's nose is extremely sensitive at
detecting certain chemicals that make up the
constituents of a cancer cell," said Dr. Ted Gansler,
director of medical content in health information for
the American Cancer Society. "But it's hard to know how
accurate untrained dogs are."
Research suggests that cancer cells emit chemicals not
found in healthy tissue. Certain types of solid tumors
of the breast, prostate, lung and bladder have been
found to discharge volatile or aerosolized compounds
such as formaldehyde, benzene and alkanes.
Some researchers have successfully trained dogs to
identify the distinctive smells of the chemicals. A
study in the British Medical Journal in 2004 concluded
that dogs could be trained to detect bladder cancer on
the basis of urine odor alone.
Different breeds have been trained, depending on the
study, including poodles, beagles, cocker spaniels,
Labrador retrievers, Portuguese water dogs and mutts.
Nicholas Broffman, executive director of the Pine Street
Foundation in California, which published a study on
cancer-detecting dogs last month, found the Wrigley tale
intriguing. "That's a very common story," he said.
"That's one of the reasons we did this research, because
we've heard all these stories and we wanted to do a
double-blind study to test the idea."
The foundation is a nonprofit, independent cancer
research and education organization. In its study
published in a cancer journal, researchers collected
breath samples in plastic tubes from 83 healthy
volunteers, 55 lung cancer patients and 31 breast cancer
The tubes were numbered and placed in plastic boxes and
presented to the dogs, five at a time. If the dog
detected cancer, it was trained to sit or lie down.
Researchers determined that the dogs were accurate 99
percent of the time in detecting lung cancer and 88
percent of the time in detecting breast cancer.
The breath samples were "blinded" so neither dog
handlers nor observers knew which samples were being
tested until the study was completed. "We set out to see
if cancer has a smell and if people with cancer have a
different smell than people without cancer," Broffman
said. "We were impressed with how well the dogs did."
Broffman said it's not clear whether dogs can detect
both malignant and benign tumors, such as the one Werner
had. "We're not sure exactly what the dogs are smelling,
although we have a hunch," Broffman said. "We want to do
additional research to study what the compounds are that
they are responding to."
Some cancers, such as ovarian and pancreatic cancer, are
usually not caught until quite advanced, and "if there
is a possibility of detecting either one at stage one,
this could be revolutionary," he said.
'Many steps away'
Not everyone is wagging their tails about the dog
studies. The results of the lung and breast cancer study
were too good to be true, said Donald Berry, chairman of
the department of applied biostatistics and applied
mathematics at the University of Texas-M.D. Anderson
Cancer Center in Houston. "It's essentially impossible
that anything could be that good," he said.
Berry also discounted the idea that cancers smell. "If
they do, they are bound to smell different," he said,
because there are so many different types. Screening in
actual clinical practice is more difficult than the
situation the dogs were encountering, said Gansler of
the cancer society.
In the published studies, dogs were taught to
distinguish between normal samples and samples taken
from people with cancer. But samples from people with a
variety of other kinds of disease weren't included,
Gansler said. "So we don't know very much about the
potential for false positive results from the dogs in
which they are confusing, say, lung cancer and
pneumonia, or urinary infection and bladder cancer."
"This research is a good first step, but still many
steps away from actual clinical use," he said.
No one expects dogs to replace biopsies, X-rays or other
cancer-screening tools, but researchers are intrigued by
the possibilities in the olfactory abilities of man's
best friend. Dogs could possibly be used to help
identify chemicals associated with cancer, which would
aid scientists in developing tests, possibly a
breathalyzer, to detect specific compounds.
Werner, meanwhile, is coping with temporary paralysis on
the right side of his face as he recovers. The surgery
also caused complete hearing loss in his right ear. He
is grateful the tumor was caught when it was.
"Don't get me wrong, I give credit to my doctor; she was
the one who found it," he said. "But there isn't any
doubt in my mind that my dog was looking out for me,
that the unconditional love I gave her came back."
Wrigley's life is much like it was before she morphed
into Doctor Dog. She spends much of her days watching
the comings and goings on her block. Friends and
neighbors who organized meals for Werner during his
recuperation included special treats for the laid-back
pet. She turned 11 in July.
Werner, a commercial real estate developer, continues to
lavish affection on Wrigley - kissing and petting her,
and calling her "my girl." And she hasn't sniffed his
ear since he was diagnosed.
FAIR USE NOTICE
Some of the articles indexed through this page contain copyrighted material, the use of
which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such
material available in my efforts to advance understanding of social justice
and human bond issues, among
others. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as
provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with
Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,
the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational