Northvale, New Jersey, was recently the scene of a hero dog in action. Sammy, the hound-mix, smashed the window in the home of his owner who was only semi-conscious and totally incapable of summoning help.

One very brave dog alerted passersby

Sammy helped his New Jersey owner to survive an 'unexpected medical event' that according to police, could have easily taken her life. It is not known how long the woman, who is a 62-year-old widow who has lived alone since her husband's death in 2005, was lying face down in her bathroom, but judging from the fact that the two dogs on the premises (Sammy and a lab-mix named Bella) hadn't been fed or cared for, it does appear to have been a few days.

Sammy, the hero hound-mix Meg Verdigi

Lucky for everyone involved that Sammy barks much more than the other dog. He is known to bark when people arrive at the house but even more loudly when they leave, and it was this fact coupled with the sound of breaking glass that alerted passersby of trouble within. (See my article on Homeless Cat Saves Abandoned Baby.)

According to Northvale Police Chief, William Essmann, on the evening of July 31, two women, one of whom was a neighbor's daughter, were walking past the home about 8pm when they heard glass break and a dog barking incessantly. One of the women became alarmed and called the police after she approached the front door to ring the bell and saw blood dripping from a broken window.

Sammy's barking  brought the para-medics and police to the scene

The police arrived and entered the home via the shattered open window. Essmann also told the press: "We believe that the dog inside the home heard the two women talking as they walked past the home and broke the glass with its  paws in an attempt to get their attention, which led to his owner being rescued." The woman who was unable to move on her own, was transported to the intensive care unit of a local hospital and Sammy was treated for an injury to his front paw sustained from shattering the window. (See my article Guide Cat Saves  Hiker in the Alps.)

The Paramus Animal Shelter is now housing the two dogs and will keep them there as long as it takes for their owner to get well and reclaim them. According to manager, Kim Nangle: "They are not being fostered. We are holding them for the owner."

Although we humans may never know exactly what triggers the need in animals to help and protect their owners, the answer may be even simpler and closer to home than one might expect. Perhaps it is just a sense of loyalty and love, albeit it must be more, for surely the other dog, Bella, loves her mistress as well.  Perhaps if we delve a bit deeper, we may a brave four-legged hero whose love for his owner trumped any concern for his own safety. (See me article on Orlando, the Guide Dog.)

Here's to you, Sammy, and to a future filled with many bones and belly rubs!

See also: Bretagne

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