Meet Shana, a half wolf/ half German Shepherd puppy that was rescued by Eve and Norman Fertig at the tender age of just two weeks. The puppy was sick and they nursed her back to health, never dreaming that one day seven years later, this animal would save their lives. (See: The Soldier Who Saved The Cat and Vice Verse.)
The Enchanted Forest Wildlife Sanctuary
The Alden, New York, sanctuary is on the property of this loving couple who routinely care for injured animals, and at the time of this occurrence housed a dozen or so animals that needed to be fed and exercised, which they did every night around 7. Two of their charges were wounded birds: an 18-year old raven and a crow that was shot and blind in one eye with two broken legs. (See: Lulu The Pot-Bellied Pig.)
While tending to the animals so dependent on their care, Eve Fertig recalled that "...the lights went out and I realized something was wrong. We looked outside to see what's happening and down came one massive tree... right across from where we were standing." The fallen tree blocked their path to the other buildings on the property, including their home, which was about 200 feet away. "We were in big trouble," said Eve. "I turned and said to my husband, I think we could die out here." (See: Sassy the Chihuahua.)
Shana To The Rescue
The Fertigs huddled together for warmth in a narrow alley between the hospital building and the aviary, where they were sheltered from falling trees. There was no way that they could climb the trees that blocked their path without serious injury. To compound the perilous situation, neither had warm clothes on since it was a clear, crisp fall day, just a few hours ago. They hugged and prayed, for they could think of nothing else to do. (See: A Cat Named Tink.)
The dog always followed the couple around and searched for them when she could not find them. According to Eve, that's when 160-pound Shana went into hero mode. She began to dig a tunnel, similar to a mine-shaft, beneath the fallen trees, using her teeth and claws. She barked incessantly, as if instructing them to follow. For Norman the experience was even more traumatic than might be expected, for the mine-shaft brought back painful memories of foxholes during his service in Okinawa in World War II. (See: Dasher The Hero Pup.)
Shana Saved Her Caretakers
It took Shana a few hours to tunnel all the way back to the house and then, even though exhausted, she came back to the Fertigs, grabbed the sleeve of Eve's jacket and threw all 86 pounds of her over her back and neck. which Eve described as "about as wide as our kitchen shelf." Norman grabbed Eve's legs and together the dog pulled then both through the tunnel under the trees and an opening in a fence leading to the house, at which they arrived at approximately 2 am. (See: Dog Attacks Suicide Bomber.)
The House Was Without Heat or Electricity
The house was dark and very cold. Shana once again came to the rescue, acting as a living, breathing generator until the fire department arrived the next morning. In Eve's own words: "It was the most heroic thing I have ever seen in my life. We opened the door and we just fell in and she laid on top of us and just stayed there and kept us alive...that's were we were when the firemen found us." (See: Homeless Cat Saves Abandoned Baby from Freezing.)
The firefighters cleared the trees from the grounds and brought food and water to both humans and dogs. They could not believe what this incredibly brave dog had done. The following week Shana received The Citizens For Humane Animal Treatment's Hero Award for bravery, which is traditionally given to humans. The plaque hangs in the living room of her proud owners.
Shana, there are no words but if there were, they would probably be: "Good dog and loyal friend."