Celebrating Dog Heroes at PURINA HALL OF FAME Ceremony
Today we had the great pleasure of meeting the latest Heroes down at Toronto’s PawsWay – four canines Bella, Vicious, Snickers and Teak took top honours for their courage. “Now in it’s 45th year, the Purina Animal Hall of Fame annually shares amazing life-saving stories and incredible acts of courage shown by pets and service animals across the country” said Mary Siemiesz, Executive Director of the Purina PetCare Legacy. “The tenacity of our 2013 inductees to recue and protect people from harm- whether it’s a wild animal, house fire, criminal or a medical emergency – showcases the connection animals have to humans and the physical risks they will take to keep them safe.”
Considered to be very important members of the family and society, dogs have grown into protective and loyal animals that enhance and even save the lives of the people they live with.
Bella (Milton, NS)
Just over 2 years ago, Chris Larocque gave his wife a beautiful Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy Bella to thank her for nursing him after a very serious automobile accident. Because of his traumatic injuries, he had permanent damage to the left side of his body and had fallen several times. One afternoon Chris was home alone and while checking on his lunch in the oven, he felt a sudden violent pain shoot up his left side and fell, hitting his head. As he collapsed, the tea towel in his hand grazed an element in the oven and caught fire. The flames moved up his arm, onto his clothing. In desperation he removed his burning shirt and threw it against the wall, causing the kitchen walls to catch fire. He couldn’t get up because of his injuries, so he called Bella the dog. He grabbed her collar and she pulled him out of the burning house. “Without Bella’s devotion, strength and courage, I would have died in the fire that destroyed my house” said Chris. “She is truly our family hero, and we’re so happy that Bella is being recognized for her life-saving efforts by the Purina Hall of Fame.”
Vicious (Trail, BC)
On a warm summer evening last August, Angie Prime was relaxing in her living room with her 12 year old Border Collie and 2 puppies, Angie had the lights off so as not to attract insects and the sliding door open so the dogs could go in and out. Suddenly Angie sensed another presence in the room. She turned and found herself trapped facing a large cougar. She put her arms up to shield her face and screamed as the cougar pounced. From across the room, Vicious sprang up and launched herself fearlessly at the cougar. The cat disengaged and headed towards the open door. Vicious followed protectively, chasing the cougar towards the green belt at the back fo the property. Vicious came back unharmed and the conservation officers who arrived on scene agreed that Angie was extremely lucky to be alive, thanks to the quick brave action of Vicious.
Snickers (Oshawa, ON)
Very early morning last March, Constable Rob Garnett and his partner responded to a call about Snickers, a 4 year old Border Collie/Pointer Rescue dog who was pacing back and forth in a driveway, barking incessantly, blocking the residents from leaving and causing a disturbance. New to the neighbourhood, the family did not recognize the dog but thought maybe it lived next door. When Constable Garnett investigated next door, he received no response, but luckily he peered though the window and saw Gregory Gould, who suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), lying unconscious on his living room floor. Quickly Constable Garett and his partner broke through the door and called the paramedics. They realized that Snickers had thrown his body repeatedly against the back screen door in his determination to get help, and then broken through the fence to wake the neighbours. Thanks to Snickers’ keen intuition, strength, persistence and determination, Mr Gould received the medical attention he needed in time to save his life. Gregory’s son said “We were so lucky, the Rescued Dog became the Rescuer”.
Service Dog of the Year: Teak (Vancouver, BC)
Send us your Hero stories for our blog and an episode of Talent Hounds celebrating Heroes.