Buddy, 1998 Service Animal Hero
MSPCA Animal Hall of Fame!
Retriever Buddy brightens the lives of people
living with HIV/AIDS. He lives with them at a group home in Brighton, Mass., run by
It was the last wish of his original owner, a former resident and MSPCA
Phinney's Friends client, that Buddy remain in the care of his friends and housemates.
Buddy's loving presence, fondness for tennis balls, and joy in a good
walk brightens the days of everyone at the home.
Golden Retriever Rowdy
Heinz Pet Products Reward Dog Hero Runner-Up, 1998
a three-year-old Golden Retriever from Fort
Worth, Texas, saved the life of his owner, Karin Martin, who has a chronic medical
condition requiring her to take nourishment from a feeding tube inserted into her heart.
One night, as Karin slept, the tube became dislodged and instead of the
nutrients trickling in, blood was spurting out. Rowdy began licking Karin's face and
nudging her chin with his nose to waken her. When Karin awoke, she managed to shut off the
Had Rowdy not roused her, Karin's doctors say she would have bled to
Golden Retriever Dusty
Saved Owner from Fire, Then needed Rescue Himself
Dusty, now a fourteen year old Golden
Retriever, saved the
life of his parent and caregiver, Steve Cook, who had just started heating up a gas grill
in the back yard in July 1995. Usually, Steve would let the grill heat up for five to ten
minutes. However, on this fateful day he started up the grill, and then went downstairs
for a five-minute cooling down period as it was a hot day.
Unfortunately, something happened to the hose that carried the gas, and
it split and started spewing out flame and fire. The house then caught fire, but Steve did
not realize this as he had just turned on the grill five minutes earlier and went
downstairs to cool off from this hot July day. Dusty came downstairs, cried, then went
upstairs and cried. He did this a couple times, so Steve thought he just wanted out. By
the time he got upstairs that whole end of the house was on fire. If not for Dusty coming
downstairs and letting him know something was wrong, Steve would have been trapped
downstairs and might have died.
Both Dusty and Steve got out of the house without injury. While running
out of the front door with Dusty, Steve dialed 911, yelled "Fire Fire Fire," and
dropped the phone without hanging it up. Within a few minutes the first fire truck arrived
with its lights and siren going. The firemen propped open the front door and went in with
Without Steve realizing, Dusty had become scared by the
fire trucks and loud sirens, running back into the house during the height of the fire.
Luckily, two Lake Johanna firemen were able to save Dusty, Paula finding him in a lower
level shower. Paul and Paula carried him out, and while Dusty did suffer smoke inhalation,
he survived without any permanent damage. Now in March 2001, Dusty continues to be doing
well at almost 15 years of age!
Golden Retriever Sasha
Saved Five-Year-Old's Life
March 27, 2001
was a Golden Retriever Rescue dog from Carol
Jackson's local animal shelter in Sandy, Oregon. The shelter has an adoption center at the
local mall, and that is where Carol found her. Sadly, she had been abused and therefore
was not too trusting of people. Yet, after two years of love, Sasha was beginning to
come out of her shell.
During the summer of 1998, Carol's family had some friends over for
dinner, their boys busy outside on the play structure as the adults were indoors preparing
dinner. Suddenly, Zachary Oguri, a friend of Carol's son Austin, came running into the
house screaming for help. Outside it was discovered that Austin, who was purple-faced with
eyes bulging, was hanging by his neck from a bungie cord. Half on the slide and half off,
he was unable to get back up to relieve the tension from the cord.
But, there was Sasha on the slide, her nails dug into the plastic,
pushing Austin with all of her Golden might. Amazingly, she knew to try to push him back
up into the play structure to lesson this cord's tension. And, she was just getting the bungie to loosen when Carol reached the structure. If not for Sasha's intervention, Austin
would have most probably died. While Austin did recover from this episode, dreadful
ligature marks and broken blood vessels in his eyes were testament to what he had
According to Carol, from that day on, Sasha made a complete
transformation, emerging completely from her protective shell. The most loving and
intelligent dog that the Jackson Family has ever had, it is truly believed that she came
to become part of the family to perform this act of heroism.
Although it has been almost three years since this almost tragic
incident, the memory of its significance remains. In fact, the Jacksons continue to show
folks the gouges in the slide that resulted.
Hero Dog is Real-Life Lassie
Gloucestershire Echo & Citizen Online, January 15, 2001
A devoted dog ran home to raise the alarm after his
14-year-old owner was hit by a car as they crossed the road.
Six-year-old Golden Retriever
Oscar dashed to the family home in Basildon,
Essex, after Samantha Gillatt was injured on her newspaper round.
In true Lassie-style, he scratched at the door and barked uncontrollably - making
Samantha's mum Mandy realise something was wrong.
She said: "I heard a bashing and scratching at the door. He came
running in barking his head off. I knew he was trying to tell me that something was
When Mrs. Gillatt saw blood on Oscar's fur, she realised there had been
an accident and rang Samantha on her mobile phone.
Her daughter needed hospital treatment for cuts and bruises, while
Oscar was taken to the vet with a cut eye.
Mrs. Gillatt added: "He's a hero - the police said it was like
Lassie Come Home!"
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