The Littlest Dog Heroes

May 9, 2014

By Linda Cole

A hero is often willing to put his or her life on the line to help someone in need. When a dog performs an unselfish act to protect his family, and sometimes even a stranger, it makes you realize the unique and special relationship we have with canines. Even small dogs have the courage and heart of a lion, and understand when someone needs help. These are six stories about the littlest dog heroes.

Archie, a Yorkshire Terrier, lived in San Antonio at an army residence community with retired Navy Capt. William Wakeland and his family. The little dog was trained to never bark at people he saw outside his window, and he always obeyed. One morning, Archie surprised everyone when he began frantically barking. When Archie wouldn’t stop barking, Wakeland went to the window to see if he could figure out why the dog was so upset. He saw his neighbor who suffered with Parkinson’s lying in the road unable to get up. Thanks to Archie who disobeyed a direct order to stop barking, Wakeland was able to assist his neighbor and help him get back home.

Zoey, a 10 month old Chihuahua, was playing in the backyard of her Denver home with owner Monty Long and his one year old grandson. Suddenly, the tiny dog dashed past the toddler who was playing next to a birdbath, and stopped between him and a rock on the other side. A rattlesnake on the rock was coiled and ready to strike the boy. Zoey put herself between the snake and boy, taking a bite to her face. Long whisked the boy to safety, killed the snake and then rushed Zoey to the vet. She was treated with antivenin and blood plasma, and made a full recovery. The boy was unharmed thanks to Zoey’s quick actions.

True was lucky to have a home. Katie Crosley adopted him from a shelter because she knew no one else would want a three legged, blind and deaf Dachshund. In the early morning hours of a Sunday, True’s anxious barking woke Katie. She thought he needed to go outside, but quickly discovered the reason for his insistent barking. Fire was rapidly spreading through her home. With the front door blocked by flames, the only way out was the back door. Katie grabbed her 7 week old son and with True beside her, stumbled through thick smoke to escape out the back door as fire engulfed the entire home. Katie lost everything in the fire, but she had what was most precious to her – her son Jace, and True, her heroic little dog.

Duke is a well behaved mixed breed that was adopted seven years ago by a Portland, Oregon couple. On a Sunday night in 2013, Jenna Brousseau and her husband had retired for the night. As the couple drifted off, Duke jumped on their bed shaking uncontrollably. His behavior woke them and they immediately became alarmed because he had never acted that way before. Fearing something was wrong, they got up to check on Harper, their 9 week old baby, and found her not breathing. A 911 call brought paramedics who were able to revive Harper. Had Duke not reacted as he had, Jenna and her husband would likely not have woken up in time to save Harper.

Maggie, a Boston Terrier, is a service dog who belongs to Chris Carlson, a retired Navy veteran who suffers with diabetes and PTSD. Maggie is trained to detect when Carlson’s blood sugar is low, and is always with him. He and Maggie are regulars at a restaurant in Layton, Utah. She sits on her own stool while Carlson eats, and never barks or moves. But one day she began to bark, jumped off her stool, and raced over to another customer who was choking on a potato chip. Her frantic barking alerted a waitress who ran to the customer and performed the Heimlich maneuver on the man. Once the lodged chip was out, Maggie calmed down, returned to her stool, and sat down.

Missy the Dachshund lived next door to Charles Mitchell in Yamhill, Oregon. One day the 11 year old dog showed up in his yard and refused to leave when Mitchell told her to go home, which was unusual because she never left her own yard. The dog was acting like she wanted Mitchell to follow her, so he walked over to her. She started to head home, looking back to make sure he was following. Mitchell found Missy’s owner lying on the floor after suffering a vertigo attack. Mitchell called 911 and the man was hospitalized. He made a full recovery, thanks to his quick thinking little dog.

It doesn’t matter how big or how small a hero is…what matters is that he or she recognized a threat and acted. These six stories are proof that even the littlest dogs can be noble heroes.

Top photo by Brittany Britt
Middle photo by Taylor Ward
Bottom photo by elvissa

Read more articles by Linda Cole

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