Falstaff saved the day for his owner, not in a Shakespearean all's-well-that-ends -well way to honor his namesake, but rather as the next best thing to a call to a 911 operator.

Entertainment lawyer, Richard Schulenberger, aged 70, was gardening around his Beverly Hills home one leisurely Saturday morning last fall. Suddenly, he began to sweat profusely, both of his arms went numb and an invisible band seemed to tighten uncomfortably across his chest. (See: The Cat Who Dialed 911.)

The entertainment lawyer feared he was having a heart attack

Stopping to rest every few feet, he made his wobbly way down the steep hill towards his house. He knew that except for the family pets, he was alone and that his partner, Arlene Winnick, was out doing errands. This meant that he would have to find a way to get help all by himself. One of his English Setters, Lady Rosalind, passed him on the stony pathway, licked his hand and continued wandering across the spacious grounds. (See; Pot-Bellied Pig Saves Owner.)

It's Falstaff To The Rescue

English Setter,Falstaff had some sense that something was not right. He ran to the hillside where he found his owner sitting on a bench. The usually mellow dog began to bark furiously and wouldn't stop. He would not calm down or leave his owner's side. Schulenberg's partner was climbing  into her car when she heard the incessant barking and couldn't imagine why Richard hadn't stopped the dog from making so much noise. Her curiosity, thankfully, got the better of her and she went to investigate. She found him and got him back to the house but the worst was far from over. (See; Sassy the Chihuahua.)

Falstaff and Richard
Falstaff and Richard

In denial, Schulenberg felt what he needed  was a shower, but his partner realized his symptoms required a trip to the Emergency Room, which is where they went immediately. Doctors found his left artery to be completely blocked ,and within 90 minutes, he had a stent inserted through his wrist and up his arm. He told the press: "My doctor told me I was very lucky and that within another 30 minutes, I would have died for sure." Schulenberg has dropped 35 pound since his heart attack, and hero, Falstaff, now carefully patrols the yard. (See; Homeless Russian Cat Saves Abandoned Baby.)

The unbreakable bond between humans and their animal companions

The strong connection between animals and their human caretakers defies explanation despite its exemplification  so many times. It emanates from a shared environment and patterns of daily life that constantly replay and reinforce comfort, care, intimacy and love. Falstaff sensed that his owner was having a health crisis and reacted immediately. if not for this dog's devoted nature and incessant barking, Schulenberg might not have received the treatment that saved his life.(See: Cat Takes Bullet For Three- Year Old.)

Hail to you, Falstaff, a much more glorious and devoted knave than even your Shakespearean namesake!

See also: Bretagne

Patrick Mahoney