Canada's Pawed Protectors Save Human Lives


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Pretty cool article. Found it through this link.

Constable Kris Clark of the Lake Country Royal Canadian Mounted Police notes in the video that maintaining body temperature is crucial for the survival of an injured person who may be in shock.

The dog’s assistance did not end there. Phillips-Garcia says Sako helped him drag himself to a creek to get water and even fought off coyotes.

The 2015 Purina Animal Hall of Fame Inductees:

Badger (Elgin, ON) – It was a frigid February afternoon with temperatures dipping below -20º Celsius when Derik Hodgson left his cabin with his dog Badger. He had rushed out without his cell phone and winter jacket to photograph eagles flying above a nearby lake. The lake was frozen at this time of year and Derik quickly walked onto the ice. In his haste, Derik slipped and fell down with extreme force, breaking his leg in two places and rupturing a tendon – essentially crippling him on the ice with no one in sight. Fading in and out of consciousness due to the severe pain and freezing temperatures, Derik looked up to see Badger standing right over him. Recalling the pair's old skijoring days, Derik grabbed onto Badger's collar firmly and yelled "MUSH, BADGER, MUSH!" Badger recognized that Derik needed his help and pulled Derik off the frozen lake and all the way back to his cabin – about a 400 metre distance. Once at the cabin door, Derik was able to eventually get inside, reach for his phone and call for help. By the time the ambulance arrived, paramedics reported that Derik was already on the verge of being severely hypothermic. If not for Badger's quick thinking and determination, Derik is certain he wouldn't be alive and here today.

Bella (Windsor, ON) – On a quiet Sunday afternoon in November 2014, Rob Sheardown entered his apartment building after his daily walk with his dog Bella. The duo prepared to enter the ground floor elevator together as they typically did, but something strange happened on this day. Bella, who is normally extremely obedient, refused to get into the elevator. Ignoring Rob's commands, Bella instead pulled him back into the apartment lobby. Confused by Bella's odd behaviour, Rob followed her behind one of the lobby couches and, to his shock, discovered an elderly man lying on the ground. He was pale, sweating profusely and complaining of severe chest pains – he was having a heart attack. Rob immediately called an ambulance, and as they waited for it to arrive, Bella sat beside the man with her paw on his arm. Bella did not leave his side until paramedics arrived. Rob, being hard of hearing in one ear, and knowing how empty his lobby typically is on Sundays, is convinced no one – not even himself – would have discovered the man in time had it not been for Bella's keen intuition that someone was in desperate need of help.

Sako (Kanaka Bar, BC) – It was a sunny day on June 10, 2014 when 16-year-old Joseph Phillips-Garcia set out on a road trip out of town with his aunt, cousin, friend and family dog Sako. Later that evening, on the group's journey home, their vehicle suddenly lost control, rolling down a steep embankment of more than 100 metres into the woods. During the devastating fall, Joseph and Sako were thrown from the vehicle. Tragically, they were the only survivors. Joseph suffered a broken femur and collar bone which left him severely injured and immobilized. He remained in the woods – in and out of consciousness, cold, in pain and without food – for two days. Sako protectively stayed by Joseph's side to help keep him warm and safe from predatory animals that were circling the crash site and posing an imminent threat to Joseph. More than 40 hours later, on June 12, 2014, Joseph was finally located by his cousin who was out searching for him. Search and rescue crews were immediately called to the scene. Joseph was rushed to a local hospital where he underwent multiple surgeries and months of recuperation from his injuries. Without Sako's devotion and protective instincts, he would not have survived that ordeal.

Nettle (Cambridge, ON) – Nettle, one of Canada's first diabetic alert dogs, joined the Bordman family in late 2013 to help care for their 12-year-old twin daughters Brooke and Jade who suffer from a life-threatening condition – Type 1 Diabetes. Before Nettle joined the household, and ever since Brooke and Jade were diagnosed at age three, Terry and Beata worked tirelessly to track their daughters' blood sugar levels day and night, making sure they didn't drop too low or rise too high. But this would all change once the family met Nettle at the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides. Within the first few days of joining their home, Nettle immediately went to work, alerting Terry and Beata that Jade was suffering a serious diabetic low in the middle of the night. Alarmingly, this severe low would have otherwise gone unnoticed by them as it occurred between their regular nighttime checks. This would be only the first of many life-saving alerts. From that point onward, Nettle has not only come to the rescue of the twins time and time again, but also provides Terry and Beata peace of mind that their daughters are safe. Nettle's unique story is one that has served to inspire and pave the way for new diabetic alert dogs in Canada. She is considered a trailblazer in this service animal category, especially because she is responsible for protecting the lives of not just one, but two young girls.