So it is time for me to recognize four outstanding pups, all of whom are heroes in their own right.
The first is Lucifer, or, as his family lovingly calls him, Lucy. Lucifer’s daddy was in his Hutchinson Kansas home with his feet up on his recliner sleeping when Lucy jumped on his lap interrupting a well-deserved nap. Waking a parent is usually the wrong thing for a pup to do but Lucy had her reason.
Larry’s house had caught on fire, and his smoke alarms failed. Lucy saved his life by waking him up, and Larry was able to save Lucy’s two siblings just before the house became engulfed.
While Moore lost his house and many of his possessions he said all he cared about was that he, Lucy, and the other two dogs survived, thanks to his heroic little dog.
Sometimes hero dogs don’t have names. Forty-year-old Marion Ion of Romania found that out the hard way. He was riding his bike in a wooded area of Mount Semenic at night and crashed. When Ion tried to move, he found he couldn’t. He was totally alone in the dark and injured.
Mr. Ion heard the sound of paws coming towards him. Who knew what predatory animal was waiting for dinner? The animal came near and then lay up against him. It was a stray dog, who, instead of taking advantage of the accident, did what all dogs dog, he took care of an injured human.
When the ambulance arrived the paramedics, put a blanket around Mr. Ion, and the dog stayed nearby to keep him warm. When Mr. Ion was loaded into the vehicle, the dog got in the ambulance with him. The police removed the dog. When the ambulance left the dog ran down the street after it.
Mr. Ion recovered in the hospital from a dislocated hip and mild hypothermia. Meanwhile, the hero dog now has a name, Max, and a home, with the vice-president of Caras-Severin county council Ionut Mihai Popovic
European dogs are not the only way who can save missing humans. An 11-year-old boy went for a walk in the woods behind his house and got lost as it became dark and torrential rain started.
Enter Leo, a nine-year-old German Shepherd and a veteran K9 for the Trempealeau County Sheriff's Office who, among his many duties, is a scent tracker. Leo was given a pair of pajamas the boy had worn the day before. The dog sniffed them, remembered the scent and headed into the woods with his handler.
It was difficult because of the torrential rain. Leo kept losing the scent. Still, it only took him 15 minutes to find the boy huddled under a tree a half mile from home. The boy was brought to his worried parents and has fully recovered from the incident.
That may have been Leo’s last save. He is scheduled to retire at age ten for a well-deserved rest.
Our final dog is named Baloo. He did not save a sleeping dad, a bike rider or a child. But he did show ingenuity beyond that of the common dog. What do you do when you are hot and want to cool off but don’t want to go outside? This was Baloo’s answer.
He grabbed the hose, brought the working sprinkler into the house and cooled off in the living room. Thankfully his mom, Cora Wohr, took a picture of her fun-loving little man before she turned off the water In his defense at least he did not ask to go to the pool.
I hope to tell you the tales of more hero dogs next week because that means that no friends crossed the Bridge. Those weeks are coming further apart.