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We are always hearing stories of dogs doing amazing things for their owners. Here are a few of the most incredible and touching acts of heroism we've heard in the last few months:
An Atlanta family was counting their blessings and mourning their loss after their guide dog, Simon, ran in front of a car to keep it from striking the family's baby. Dave Furukawa is visually impaired, and Simon was his constant companion. While Furukawa was walking his young son to school, Simon jumped in front of the piar and was hit by a passing car. According to bystanders, the car had run a stop sign. "What people have said is that Simon either got up or jumped out, and pushed my son out of the path of the car," Furukawa told WXIA.
Sadly, Simon succumbed to his injuries later at a vet clinic. Furukawa and his son are okay, and Furukawa will get another guide dog, but he will certainly never forget Simon's sacrifice.
A wiener dog named Bradley seemingly sacrificed himself when he stood up to a 400-pound black bear. Bradley's owner and a friend were exploring some woods when they came across the large bear and a bear cub. They immediately knew they were in trouble, but before they could react Bradley rushed at the bear, biting and jumping. The two fought, and when the bear let go of Bradley, he returned to his owner's side. Unfortunately, he could not be saved from his injuries. "I believe honestly the outcome would've been different if Brad had not been with him," the dog's owner told WPBN.
A family in South Carolina told this incredible story to affiliate WCSC. They say their family dog "alerted" them to the fact their babysitter was secretly abusing their seven-month-old son.
"About five months into her being our baby sitter, we started to notice that our dog was very protective of our son when she would come in the door," the baby's father said. "He was very aggressive towards her and a few times we actually had to physically restrain our dog from going towards her."
The parents decided to secretly record the babysitter's actions, and were horrified at what they found. The audio recording picked up cursing, the sound of slaps, and their baby's distressed cries. Local police later arrested the babysitter, who confessed to the crime.
There are many accounts of dogs alerting their owners to house fires. In Mississippi, a dog named Blaze (yes, Blaze) noticed that an electrical panel behind a house had shorted out and was in flames. The dog's incessant barking caught the attention of neighbors. The flames reached the attic, but were put out in time to save most of the house.
In California, a Chihuahua named Bella would not stop barking when a fire started on her family's front porch. By the time the fire department arrived, the house was halfway engulfed in flames, but thanks to Bella, the family got out safe. "I am thankful, so thankful," Bella's owner told affiliate KCRA.
On Long Island, a fire raged in a grandmother's house while she and her grandson slept. Their fire alarm had not gone off, and the air conditioning in their bedrooms staved off the heat of the impending flames. Luckily, their 150-pound mastiff, Bear, burst into the grandmother's bedroom and jumped on her chest. Had Bear not been intent on getting her attention, "I probably would have passed away," she told WCBS.
It's common wisdom that would-be burglars are no fans of dogs, and a pair of thieves in Alabama found out why the hard way. A man had been collecting thousands of dollars worth of scrap metal in his backyard, but the small fortune had also attracted a lot of thieves. A few days after someone had stolen a hefty portion of his haul, the man's dog, Bama, caught another pair of robbers in the act, and the whole thing was recorded on video. "The second they kicked that gate in, my dog charges at them and chased them out of here," Bama's owner told WTVM. "And you can also see the getaway car headed back out. They're probably mad because they got chased by a dog."
A couple in Wisconsin were lucky to survive after their camper was hit head-on by a tornado. George, the couple's dog, is credited with sniffing out the wife under a bunch of rubble after the storm had passed. "They couldn't get to me and my dog found a hole, and he came in, and nose-butted me and [was] whining and poking me and I sort of crawled and followed him out of the hole," she told WLUK. They now call their pup "Geo the Hero."
Asia, a Sharpei and Pitbull mix, was a new mom to one puppy when she unexpectedly acquired a few new additions to her brood. Asia's owner had taken on a few abandoned kittens, thinking she could bottle feed them until they were old enough to be adopted. Asian had other plans, and insisted on being near the kittens, cleaning them, protecting them, and even nursing them. It's not unusual for dogs to take on young animals of a different stripe, but it's still heartwarming!
Three hundred search and rescue dogs were used to find survivors in the aftermath of 9/11. One survivor shared her story with HLN, and said she was surprised when she found out it was a dog who had sniffed her out from under the rubble of the World Trade Center towers. "It's pretty amazing to know that dogs can be trained in that way to help people, in general," she said. "I didn't know dogs could be that smart. It means a lot to me, and I thank God for that, for giving animals the ability to do that."
The lives and sacrifices of military working dogs are always appreciated. In June 2012, Air Force Staff Sergeant Len Anderson was badly wounded by a roadside bomb. He says his MWD Azza saved his life by trying to alert him to the presence of the device. "Once they save a life, that's a soldier standing there beside us. It's not a dog anymore. They're never a piece of equipment. They're a fellow soldier."