Let's face it: dogs are the best. Most of the time, they're either playing or sleeping, but in times of emergency, dogs can be literal lifesavers. Here are some famous dogs, not because they were in the movies (no offense, Lassie!), but because they are real-life heroes.
In 2010, Rich DeStefani put a hairbrush into boiling water to sterilize it. Accidentally leaving the stove on overnight, a fire started at 3:30 in the morning. Bandit, a Pomeranian-poodle mix, smelled the smoke and started barking at the whole household to wake up. Bandit was having a sleepover with his owner Ryan Leitz, a friend of the DeStefani's when the fire started.
Bandit's owner Leitz was quoted saying, "He's so cute and doesn't seem like the type of dog that would be able to be called a hero, but, I guess, anything can happen." No one was hurt (except for the hairbrush), and this 15-pound pooch was considered a hero. Superb job, Bandit!
In 2010, Elle the pit bull became the ultimate therapy dog. Teaching children about dog safety and helping people overcome their fear of dogs, Elle received the American Humane Dog Hero Award in 2013. She and her owner started a therapy dog reading program entitled "Tail Wagging Tales," which helps children strengthen their reading skills. From elementary schools to retirement homes, Elle reaches far and wide and inspires love and responsibility about pet parenting. Wonderful job, Elle!
In 2013, Bruce Martin was watching movies with his dog, a pit bull/golden retriever mix, Clyde. When Bruce got up to go to the bathroom, he suffered a massive heart attack. After Clyde nudged him to make sure that he was okay, he ran to Bruce's sleeping wife and woke her up.
Bruce recalls the incident, "That particular night, I got up to cross the room and had a heart attack. I was unconscious, and when he couldn't get me to respond, he went to get Mitch [Martin's wife]." Good boy, Clyde!
Dogs can smell a great many things, including medical conditions and orca whale scat, but also know when something is off in your house. Awoken late at night by their friends' two children with upset stomachs, John and Janet Walderbach noticed something strange about their dog Shelby who would not leave their side. John put Shelby outside but she started barking anxiously. Shelby did not give up until everyone was out of the home. It turns out the entire household was being slowly poisoned by a carbon monoxide leak. Everyone was treated at the hospital, preventing any severe health issues. Great job, Shelby!
In the 1930s, Swansea Jack, a retriever from Wales, became famous for rescuing people from drowning. His first rescue was of a 12-year-old boy that went mostly unreported. In front of a crowd, he saved a swimmer from the docks of the small Swansea town. In 1936 he received the "Bravest Dog of the Year" award by the Star newspaper in London. Later, he received a silver cup from the Lord Mayor of London and was the only dog ever to receive two bronze medals by the National Canine Defense League. In total, Swansea Jack saved 27 people from the riverbanks of Swansea, Wales. Amazing job, Jack!
There are so many good dogs doing wonderfully heroic things. This is a friendly reminder that dogs are much more than companions, they are superstars.