Melting Hearts In Frozen Temperatures

Credit: McLaren Northern Michigan

Slipping in the snow can be lots of fun if you land right. Land badly, and that’s you in a pickle. A Michigan native identified only as ‘Bob’ knows this all too well, after he managed to break his neck from a severe fall on New Year’s Eve in 2016. Lucky for Bob, he was with his golden retriever Kelsey, who stayed with him for an astonishing 20 hours in temperatures as low as 24 degrees. “By morning, my voice was gone and I couldn’t yell for help, but Kelsey didn’t stop barking,” Bob told Fox 2 Detroit. After a few hours Bob fell again, this time unconscious. Kelsey continued to bark until a neighbour came to their rescue.

Pudding To The Rescue

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Amy Jung had only adopted her cat Pudding from a Wisconsin shelter mere hours before disaster struck. In February of 2013, Jung was having some sort of attack in her sleep, when her new furry friend sensed trouble afoot. With Pudding having woken her up by swatting her face and biting her nose, Jung was able to call for help and avoid any fatal or life-changing effects from what turned out to be a diabetic seizure. “If something or someone hadn’t pulled me out of that, I wouldn’t be here,” Jung reflected.

Car Crash Savior

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Sako the King Shepherd went all out to save Joseph Phillips-Garcia after he, his aunt and his cousin went careering off an embankment during a wholesome fishing trip in May 2015. Phillips-Garcia and Sako were the only ones launched from the car during its 325-foot descent. With Phillips-Garcia unable to move much after fracturing his femur and collar bone, Sako set about keeping the teenager warm, as well as getting him to a creek for water and scaring off coyotes. Phillips-Garcia’s mother later claimed that Sako had saved her son’s life, while adding “You can see the connection between Joe and Sako is even stronger now”.

‘Hero Cat’

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Sometimes dogs are good boys. Sometimes they’re bad boys. In this instance, the dog was a very bad boy. A four-year-old child was out playing on his bicycle in Bakersfield, California in May 2014 when a neighbour’s dog came running over, snatching the boy off his bike. On the cusp of sustaining some very nasty injuries, the family cat - since labelled ‘Hero Cat’ – chased away the slobbering hound, saving the young child from serious harm.

Saving A Baby

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It might seem crazy to think about new-born babies being abandoned in this day and age, but, sadly enough, this is still a reality in many countries. Masha the cat climbed into a box holding an abandoned baby in Russia in January 2015. She meowed until she grabbed the attention of a stranger, who then took the baby to a hospital. A spokesperson at the hospital said: “The baby had only been outside for a few hours and thanks to Masha … he was not damaged by the experience.”

Fire Safety Hound

Credit: The Des Moines Register

Capone the pinscher may share his name with a cold-blooded mobster, but they certainly don’t share a capacity for kindness. This helpful mutt notified a woman, Angela Fullmer, about a fire in her house back in May 2017. Arriving in the nick of time, Fullmer managed to safely evacuate her nine children before the raging fire became too much. I’m glad we found him on the highway,” she said of Capone. “I believe it was supposed to happen.”

The Speed-Dialling Cat

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Tommy’s owner usually wore a medical alert necklace as a result of being wheelchair-bound. But on the day of his nasty fall in January 2006, Gary Rosheisen had decided not to put it on. His cat then remarkably took matters into his own paws by calling the police on speed-dial. The fact there was no voice on the other end sparked immediate concern and before Tommy or Gary knew it, help had arrived.

The Child In The Snow

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On a chilly day in March, 2017, Peanut was pacing the stairs of her Michigan home trying to get the attention of her owners for ages before she was finally let out. Peanut then led them outside where a naked toddler was freezing to death in a ditch behind their house. The authorities were alerted straight away and the toddler was taken to hospital and treated. “She has been such a blessing to us, and now to others,” Peanut’s owners said. “Words cannot express how grateful we are that we have Peanut in our lives and how amazing she is.”

Doctor Cat

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Animals, particularly dogs, have been known to sense illness in humans long before any symptoms arise. Well, Fidge has now proved cats share the same skill. This clever feline made a habit of jumping on her owner Wendy’s right breast. Taking the hint, she went to see a doctor and discovered a pea-sized tumour. “She saved my life,” Wendy said in January 2012. “I was told that if I hadn’t been diagnosed when I was, I could have died because of the hormones in the menopause. I am the first one in my family to have breast cancer. I am so glad I got her.”

Dopey By Name, Not By Nature

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This is a very unjust name for a dog that can see into the future and save lives. Britton Voss, Dopey’s owner, suffers from seizures. As such, Dopey has come to know when Voss is on the verge of one. Whenever a seizure can’t be prevented in its early stages, Dopey will lick Voss’s face until he comes around again. He’ll then cuddle and comfort Voss for a further hour. Dopey is also efficient in retrieving Voss’s medicine and, if need be, calling the police. They’ve been best buds since Dopey began assisting Voss in 2013.

Loyal Until The End

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Figo wasn’t deterred when he and owner Audrey Stone were hit by a bus during a stroll in Brewster, New York. Even though the golden retriever had injured one of his legs from taking the brunt of the collision, it didn’t stop him from looking after Audrey. Even when the emergency services arrived, Figo refused to leave her side. Stone, legally blind, spent four months at a rehabilitation hospital after the incident in 2015.

Burn, Baby Burn

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Josh Ornberg and Letitia Kovalovsky were sleeping peacefully on the sofa in their Wonder Lake, Chicago home in January 2010 when a fire broke out upstairs. Baby, their greyish tabby cat, evaluated the risk of the fire and woke up the snoozy couple before their home was engulfed in flame. All three got out safely thanks to the urgent efforts of Baby. The cat went missing for a few weeks but was eventually found safe and well.

Puppy Power

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Maya Fairweather had taken her boyfriend’s puppy, Apollo, out for a stroll in November 2016 when she was attacked by a stranger. The five-month-old puppy had been let off his leash to roam free for a while in a Brooklyn park when the attacker made his move, pinning Fairweather to the ground. Sprinting over, Apollo freed Fairweather from the man by biting him in the leg. She later credited the “good boy” for saving her life.

The Ultimate Sacrifice

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Most of time, road rage ends in nothing but a few naughty words and hand gestures. For one Atlanta family in November 2014, it ended in tragedy. After a heated confrontation on the road with another driver, they went to a strip mall, where the man had followed them with a gun. A dog named Noah, in a moment of selfless bravado, leaped in front of the children, taking the bullet in their place. The courageous canine sadly died at the scene from its injuries. “It’s a really sad story for the whole family,” said Police Sgt. Gregory Lyon.

Rest In Peace, Bagheera

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Having your cat claw at you is never ideal, but in the case of Patty Ruiz, it was essential to her survival. This mother was alerted to a house fire when Bagheera the cat stirred her from her sleep one night in February 2016. Patty managed to save two of her three daughters by escaping through a smashed window of her Pineville, Louisiana home, but her youngest daughter, and Bagheera, never made it out.

An Unbreakable Bond

Credit: San Francisco Police Department

In October 2015, a man in San Francisco was approached by police under suspicion of stealing a car when he decided to sit on the ledge of the third-floor window. Threatening to jump, the hostage team mentioned the man’s relationship with his cat, a bond apparently so strong it brought an end to the situation. The man surrendered peacefully and even got to see his beloved cat before going to jail. “Using the cat was ingenious,” said Officer Albie Esparza, a police spokesman told SF Gate. “Never underestimate the power of the love between people and their pets.”

The Animals Are Always The First To Know

Credit: WLWT
Credit: WLWT

Up until what could’ve been the worst night of the Kecksess family’s life, 7-year-old Mr Boo was a pretty reserved cat. But one morning in May 2018, he couldn’t stop meowing. The Cincinnati family knew something wasn’t right and left their home, finding out later that Mr Boo had detected a poisonous carbon-monoxide leak, which would’ve proved fatal the Kecksess’ had their smart cat not intervened.

The Greatest Of All Time

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Mandy isn’t a traditional pet. First of all, she’s a goat. Second, she doesn’t sit around indoors all day. This worked out brilliantly for Aussie farmer Neil Osborne when he was randomly knocked over by a cow back in 2002. He had suffered a broken hip and was lying in a pile of dung when Mandy discovered him. Amazingly, Osborne had spent five days on the floor unable to move. Were it not for Mandy keeping him warm at night and allowing him to milk her for hydration, it’s likely he wouldn’t have lived to tell the tale.

Max the Swimmer

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Max, a Staffordshire bull terrier, became the pet of the hour after he saved a young child from drowning in a river in Australia in January 2021. It was Max’s owner who spotted the trouble ahead but this Staffie wasn’t going to wait for no man, launching himself into the water to save the boy and pull him to safety. Max was wearing a life jacket at the time.

Dog vs. Avalanche

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Falling victim to an avalanche is never a good time, especially when there are no witnesses to run for help. Thankfully for two Swiss hikers trapped in the Avers Valley in 2021, they had their dogs to thank for saving their lives. Escaping the snow first themselves, the two mutts ran and barked until they attracted the attention of a group of people who called for emergency services 15 minutes after the avalanche struck.

Wake-up Call

Credit: James Turner

At 3am on a February night in 2021, Diane Thompson was woken up by her Jack Russell Terrier, Bella. At first annoyed, Thompson then realised something wasn’t right. Bella was alarmed. When Diane went downstairs, she saw the living room ablaze, a plug socket under the stairs having caught fire. The Alford house was wrecked, but thanks to the quick thinking of Bella, no soul was harmed.

Child saved from venomous snake

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In places like Sao Paulo in Brazil, the everyday wild animal is little different from how squirrels and frogs seem to Westerners. One child discovered this the hard way when she was confronted by a six-foot-long venomous snake outside her home in December 2020. Frozen with fear, Typhoon the dog came to her rescue, attacking and scaring away the snake. Typhoon was bitten in the process, but his family took him to a veterinary clinic where he recovered.

Pickles punching above its weight

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Trust a dog named Pickles to get you out of a pickle. At just five pounds, this brave dog managed to save his family from a bear attack when their North Carolina home was invaded in September 2018. Pickles distracted the bear with his barks, removing him from the Merrill household and saving them from certain danger.

Jepson, the dog’s dog

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Four-year-old Great Pyrenees Jepson did the dog world a lot of good back in August 2020, when he prevented two men from kidnapping a rescue shelter volunteer. “Jepson is a very good boy,” the shelter said in a statement. “He is good with people unless you are a criminal and he is good with dogs and cats.”

‘You’re gonna be ruff in the morning’

Credit: Hannan Quintus

Most of us have suffered a little tumble after a few drinks on the town. The difference with Hannan Quintus’ tumble is that she had a faithful companion around to help her. After returning to her Iowa home three sheets to the wind one night back in September 2020, Quintus began to fall backwards when trying to get into bed. Footage caught the moment dog Jax helped her owner stay up straight and even helped her into bed for a bit of shuteye.

Brave Staffie

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In March 2020, a domestic argument broke out in Aberdeen, Scotland between 24-year-old Liam Gove and his girlfriend. Attacking their dog first, Gove then moved onto his girlfriend, managing to knock out her two front teeth. The Staffordshire bull terrier then retaliated and saved the woman from further harm by biting Gove on the arm, his injuries so severe that he had to spend two days in hospital recovering.

The Texas Chainsaw Close-Call

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Operating a chainsaw is a tricky business, especially if you’re Johnny McKnight. While cutting down trees, McKnight accidentally cut his leg with the tool. He called for help and who else came running than his one-year-old dog Rambo. The dog aided McKnight in returning home where he then barked to alert his owner’s wife. The incident occurred in Texas, wouldn’t you believe.

A True Buddy

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It’s already been stated that dogs have a great knack for comforting the ill, especially those who suffer from seizures. Buddy the service dog is no different. This 18-month-old German shepherd rushed to dial 911 after his owner Joe Stalnaker collapsed from a seizure in September 2008. The phone is specially programmed to alert the receiver of Stalnaker’s addressed. Police promptly arrived.

Running away from a fire? Nyet

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You wouldn’t put money on a pregnant dog preventing much in this life, which is what makes the efforts of Matilda so special. Barking to alert the residents of a Russian hospice when a fire broke out, four elderly patients were quickly evacuated. Matilda suffered burns to her face, neck and abdomen but made a full recovery. More importantly, her unborn puppies were unharmed.

Riley Grylls

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Barbara Dadswell was out hiking in Washington with her dog Riley back in September 2019 when she slipped and fell into a ravine. Dadswell spent a day and a half trying to make her way back to civilisation thanks to her broken leg. Thankfully, dog Riley was able to grab the attention of a jogger, who gave Dadswell some water and clothes before taking her to a nearby ranger station.