For years I have collected tales of Golden heroes, currently with almost 90 in my incredible collection. I never tire of learning about a new story that underlies my convictions about the intimate bond that only a dog can have with his or her beloved person.
This story of Service Golden Retriever Midas is an especially wonderful one. Midas was pretty heroic, almost from day one, when he was paired in 2001 with his human companion, Myrna. But, now almost 7 years later, he has proven just how crucial he is.
Myrna has Muscular Dystrophy and only has movement in her wrist and toes. She cannot lift her arm to scratch her face. She cannot pick up her arm if it falls off her armrest.
Here is a video news report from WPBF’s Cathleen O’Toole who details how Midas helped his human companion keep breathing.
And, here is Myrna’s story about getting this special boy.
Greetings. My name is Myrna and my companion’s name is My Midas. He became my hero just about a month after we became partners after team training at New Horizons Service Dogs.
It was early in the morning, about 5 a.m. After getting ready to start our daily routine and go to work, Midas and I said good-bye to my husband and son. We went out the door of our apartment, to the hallway, then to the sidewalk that takes us to the parking lot, where we wait for the special transportation to pick us up and take us to my place of employment. Since this is something that we have been doing for a month, I hold the leash in my hand while we are outside. I was not aware that during the night the maintenance people had dug up part of the sidewalk leaving it uneven.
Suddenly I felt the front tire of my wheelchair sink, and because of the limited mobility in my hands I was not able to prevent what came next. The front of the wheelchair sank in the hole, and it tilted forward. I ended up in the grass face down with a 300-pound power wheelchair on top of my back. For a moment I felt that my world was about to come to an end. I could not distinguish from the darkness of the morning or from the accident. I tried to call for help, but my voice was not loud enough for anyone to hear me.
At that moment Midas somehow got the leash out of my hand, and came to me and licked me in my face, sort of making sure that I was alive. I was able to tell him, “Midas, we are in trouble. Get help.”
I had no idea if he knew what I was talking about. I was just sort of talking to myself, trying to think how I got to the ground. Midas licked me one more time and left. He went back to my apartment door, got up on his back legs and started making growling noises and scratching the door. My husband was getting our son ready for school when he heard the noise. He was curious about the reason Midas was back at the door when he knew we should be out front waiting for our van pick up. He opened the door and saw Midas growling and running back and forth, sort of telling him to follow.
My husband ran outside and found me on the ground. Midas came to where I was and sat near me until my husband was able to unbuckle the seat belt and get the wheelchair off my back and then pick me up from the ground. I had bruised ribs and a bump on my forehead, but if Midas had not been there, it could have been hours before anyone noticed that I was injured. Because of his actions my injuries were less than they would have been. He kissed me twice to make sure that I stayed alert. He really might have saved my life that day.
Midas received an honorary Heroic Certificate for his bravery and for finding help for me from the Red Cross. New Horizons Service Dogs not only provided me with a lifetime partner to help me with my daily needs, but also they have given me the opportunity to expand my horizons and become active and productive member of our community again. Since I received Midas, my life has changed drastically. I have gone from being homebound and very dependent on physical assistance, with frequent panic attacks to a very independent, outgoing and active member of our community. Midas has given me a way to return to real life.