Let’s Talk: What Would Your Dog Do if You Needed a Helping Paw in a Medical Emergency?

Bethe Bennett and her little hero, Danny, at the hospital where she is recovering (Image: ABC News) There's a heartening story in the news today...


There’s a heartening story in the news today of a little dog who helped save his owner’s life last week when she took a terrible fall on her tile floor. As she fell, she heard a big crack and felt the roar of pain. Her femur had broken badly and she could not move. It would be days until her next visitor.

I was scared. I really thought I was going to die, Bethe Bennett, a former nurse, told ABCNews.com.

She passed out, but then came to when her miniature Schnauzer, Danny, started licking her face. Danny used to be her mother’s service dog, but hadn’t worked his skills much since she passed away years ago. Bennett realized she had to enlist more of his help, or possibly die. Fortunately his memory was not too rusty.

“I started asking Danny to get me the phone, said Bennett, who lives in Arizona. He ran back and forth a couple of times barking and finally jumped up and knocked the phone over and pushed it with his nose toward me.

After calling 911, the clear-thinking Bennett realized the paramedics wouldn’t be able to get into her house because the door was locked. She needed to call a neighbor to fetch a hidden key. She had some neighbors’ numbers on a piece of paper in another room. But how to get to them? Oh, Danny boy?!

“Paper!” she told Danny. Something clicked inside his memory banks, and he brought over five sheets of paper. One of them had her neighbors’ contact info. She called, and they unlocked the door just as the ambulance arrived.

Bennett is recovering at a hospital, and Danny is right by her side. Never in my wildest dreams did I think Id be the one hed have to rescue, she said. He was my little hero.

I love this story. It’s inspiring to realize just how much dogs are capable of. It makes me look at Jake and wonder what he would do if, heaven forbid, something happened to me when no one else was home. He might come nuzzle my face to see what was up, but all he knows are basic things like “sit,” “stay,” and “down.” If I told him “phone!” he’d look excitedly at the cookie jar thinking I’d said “bone!”

Well, he’d be good company at least, drool and all.

How about you, Dogsters? If — again, God forbid — something happened to you and it was just you and your dog, would your dog be much help? What would or could your dog do to help you — even psychologically? Anyone out there have a hero dog like Danny? Are there any commands/requests people can teach their non-service dogs for such events? It would be great if a few Dogster dogs could get a Lassie-like skill or two out of this.

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