Saul - a Real-Life Lassie
The American Humane Association’s annual Hero Dog Awards recognize the special achievements of our best friends, and this year is no exception. The second round of online voting just ended, and when those results are tabulated, the finalists in each of seven categories like Therapy Dog and Military Dog will be announced and the final round of online voting will determine which dog is named the Hero Dog of the Year. Well, now there is a good candidate for next year’s prize.
In Tahoe National Forest last week, a 53-year-old man was camping with his Border Collie, Saul, in a remote area that is inaccessible to vehicles. The man took a wrong step on a ridge while hiking and fell seventy feet down, breaking his hip and several ribs. Somehow, he managed to crawl up to his campsite and call 911 for help.
Within a few hours, rescuers were searching for the injured man. What they found was his dog Saul. Well, actually it was Saul who found them; the dog wasted no time in convincing the search and rescue volunteers to follow him as he led them about two hundred yards back to the injured man. That’s two football fields away – through the forest. Not only did Saul lead the team back to his human, he did it so efficiently that the injured man was airlifted out to a hospital less than eight hours after the call to 911.
Saul was airlifted out with his human and spent the night in a local animal shelter, where he got treats and a “well-deserved” dinner. The following day, Saul and his human were reunited and both were delighted to see each other.
Border Collies are energetic, highly intelligent, people-oriented and loyal, all qualities that helped save Saul’s owner in the forest. In fact, the officers credited the dog with saving the day, and his owner’s life, dubbing him a “real-life Lassie”. We should all be so fortunate to have a best friend like Saul, a true hero, when we’re speaking of pets.