Golden Retriever Angel – a true guardian angel

It was not the story I wanted to be greeted with at the beginning of a new year, but it does look like there will be a happy Golden ending for Angel . . . despite defending her human *brother* from an attacking cougar.

Go read the incredible story here, Angel representing the 86th Golden Retriever hero story showcased at our foundation site.

If you have time, be sure to check out some of the other incredible tales. So many are truly amazing.

Please note: In order to hear the broadcast below, click on the sound icon. Then, move the volume bar up in order to hear the report. The sound cannot be heard unless this is done.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Rags to Riches Rescue Story Contest – Golden Retriever Tripp – Updated

There are too many champions of rescue to count. The job they do is a noble one and often not as rewarded in our society. Yet, we all know that the main rewards are very much emotional in nature. To thank these wonderful folks who provide intake, fostering, and adopting, I have created this special prize-filled ($500+) rescue story contest.

After alerting his family to a fire in the house, Tripp, a three-legged dog, received the Golden Retriever Club of America’s G.R.A.C.E. award, given to rescued Goldens with significant and exceptional accomplishments.

I am looking for irresistible tales that capture your dog’s wonderful ‘rags to wags’ transformation. You know, those truly compelling stories that reside only in the heart (click here to enter).

We have our very first entry, entitled “Unconditional Love”. It details the story of Golden Retriever Tripp, a dog who has already been included at the Land of PureGold due to his heroic efforts. We actually have close to 100 Golden heroes, with new tales added all the time. You can find them here.

Tripp’s lovely mom, Ellen Franklin, just shared this tasty anecdote with me about Tripp. Enjoy!

I cannot tell you how honored we were to be able to go out there and accept the GRACE award.  Tripp got to fly inside the cabin with me and slept all the way out there!  While we were at the airport getting ready to fly home, many people came up to us and said “That’s Tripp!!!  I saw him on TV last night!”  The captain of the plane even announced him as a celebrity hero and everyone clapped for him.  Of course after that, he got little sleep going home because he had to visit all the passengers on the plane.  He is such a hotdog!

Once again, I give our thanks to you and to RAGofAZ.  His story continues to gain notoriety.  He was recently honored at one of our elementary schools as a community hero and of course the children fell in love with him.  He goes everywhere with me and everyone seems to know him.  He never meets a stranger!  He continues to warm the hearts of many and I truly believe he is an angel in disguise!  (a spoiled rotten angel, but an angel, nonetheless!)

Please do share this fun news with others who help provide our beloved furry ones with second chances.

Rescue is a great and really noble way to obtain a canine companion. First, it allows you to give a dog a great home. And, it often allows you to avoid the pains of puppyhood by adopting an adult dog. But, it takes a special person to try and repair the bad times that rescue dogs have often experienced. For this reason, rescue adoptions are often very serious business. That is, you must prove that you have the time to make the necessary commitment. You also must show that you are a kind and caring individual who can provide intelligently for this needy guy’s or gal’s health needs. To thank our many important rescuers and adopters, we have created this special rescue story contest.

We are looking for irresistible tales that capture your dog’s wonderful ‘rags to wags’ transformation. You know, those truly compelling stories that reside only in the heart. Folks need to communicate just why their rescue dog deserves to be King or Queen for the Day. Please join us in our fun new contest, Cece Kent’s gorgeous Cambridge Collar & matching Cambridge Lead — a set valued at $180 — awarded to our grand prize winner. Cece Kent’s dog fashion line offers a fine touch of elegance, with this gift truly befitting a lucky canine king or queen. Other wonderful prizes from our Foundation Store round out the total $500+ prize package for our top ten tales. Click here to see our entries as they arrive.

New reporting on 3-legged Golden hero, Calamity Jane

Calamity Jane's sweet disposition seen here

Calamity Jane's sweet disposition seen here

We posted about this lovely hero yesterday, and have also added Calamity Jane, initially named Annie Oakley, to our site’s incredible listing of close to 100 Golden Retriever heroes.

Golden Retriever Hero, Calamity Jane

Golden Retriever Hero, Calamity Jane

But, we have learned more to the story in an incredible new video that we recently discovered.
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If you’d like to rescue a dog like Calamity Jane or one of her puppies, visit Golden Retriever Rescue of Texas.

Calamity Jane is one Brave Hero! — Updated

See update here.

This story was shared with me by Anne Visser, one of the wonderful volunteers with Golden Retriever Rescue of North Texas, as this special girl came from this facility.

3-Legged Dog Scares Robbers From Fort Worth Home
By Joel Thomas, FORT WORTH (CBS 11 News), Feb 3, 2009

Every now and then you hear stories about dogs thwarting crimes; this is another one – with a twist. A dog saved a North Texas family from gunmen. She has a lot of courage, but it’s what the dog doesn’t have that makes her even more special.

Be sure to click here to see the video news report and learn the rest of the story.

Golden Retriever Service Dog Midas saves his human’s life!

Service Golden Retriever Midas and Mom,

Service Golden Retriever Midas and Mom, Myrna

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.

Be sure to visit the Land of PureGold Foundation for almost 90 more heroic tales.

Golden Retriever Murphy a Hero!

For years I have collected tales of Golden heroes. 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 Golden Murphy is an especially wonderful one, and I am reproducing it here in its entirety as I never know how long links will remain viable. Sometimes, stories online disappear before folks can really take in how special they are.

Pooch stayed vigil over fallen master
By KARENA WALTER, St. Catharine’s Standard, Ontario 

Murphy’s owners took a chance on him, and he didn’t disappoint. The golden retriever, who found a home despite a muscular disorder that makes it difficult for him to walk, s being credited with helping to avert a tragedy.

“The possibilities don’t bear thinking about,” said Isobel Condon, whose husband, Bill, was discovered unconscious in the snow last month because Murphy kept vigil by his side. “Had Murphy wandered off that day, nobody would have found Bill for a long time.”

As it was, the couple estimate Bill Condon, 63, had been lying in a snowy field for about 45 minutes before paramedics were alerted. Snowbanks obscured Condon’s body from passersby and the only sign anything was wrong was a dog standing in the middle of a Carlton Street field by Carleton United Church.

The incident happened around 10 a.m. Feb. 22, when Condon walked Murphy into the field by the church, where grass could be seen poking out of the powdery snow. Little did Condon know there was a slick layer of ice beneath. Condon said he went down without warning. He passed out, woke up, passed out again. “I was in a lot of pain. I tried to get up and I think that’s why I passed out. The pain was so severe,” he said.

Inside the church, secretary Fay Jones said cleaning staff were vacuuming, so she didn’t hear anything amiss.

Meanwhile, three-year-old Murphy, no longer held by his leash, didn’t leave Condon’s side, barking and licking his master’s face. The devoted dog waited and waited.

Forty-five minutes later, Sandra MacPherson pulled into the church lot to meet up with a group. Her yellow lab, Bear, started barking. “There was a dog sitting in the field by the snowbank,” MacPherson said. “When I got out of the vehicle, I saw Mr. Condon laying in the snow with Murphy standing guard.”

She ran to Condon, found him unconscious and ran back to the church, where she told the women inside to call 911. They brought out blankets. “He was wet and he was cold. We weren’t going to let him move.” Condon’s clothes were soaked. He had a concussion and was going into shock and had hypothermia.

He is recovering from severe whiplash and pulled muscles in his back and neck, but said it could have been worse without Murphy. “I honestly think I probably would have been more severely hurt and possibly may have died,” he said.

Murphy was adopted by the Condons when he was about six weeks old, but three months later, they noticed he didn’t jump or walk like other dogs. A vet diagnosed him with muscular dystrophy. The breeder offered to take Murphy back because of the disorder, but the Condons wouldn’t dream of it.

“He’s not a piece of furniture or a broken radio,” Bill Condon said. “We couldn’t return him, thank G-d for that.”

Golden Retriever Hero Tripp

With one leg to spare, or rather one less leg to spare, Tripp alerted his family to a fire and saved their lives. We have added this special guy to our site where we have the stories of 100 Golden heroes.

CLICK HERE TO SEE A VIDEO CLIP

Three legged Dog Hailed as a Hero
By Lee Ann Bowman, Producer – WBIR, Live At Five, November 7, 2007

When Betty White made a recent visit to Knoxville, the Golden Girl received a warm reception from Golden Retrievers.

Members of the Tennessee Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (TVGRR) foundation were there, along with their animals to welcome White, a lifelong animal lover.

One of the fans there was Ellen Franklin, along with her dog, “Trip.” Ellen adopted Trip from the rescue group two years ago.

At one time, Trip was deemed un-adoptable and was in danger of being put down. A good Samaritan stepped in and saved Trip, sending him to the TVGRR, which put him with a foster family in Chattanooga.

“I found him online. He had an amputation of his back left leg four months before I adopted him,” says Ellen. “I drove to Chattanooga and met his foster mom and it was love at first sight.”

Ellen says Trip adapted quickly to his new life on three legs.

“No one has told him that he’s a dog with three legs. He chases squirrels and does anything the rest of them can do.”

But Trip did something no one could ever have imagined in January of 2007. That’s when a fire broke out at the family’s home.

“He woke me up in the early hours of the morning,” Ellen remembers. “Our house was full of smoke and I was able to get my daughter out of the house and call the fire department.”

Trip now spend his days as a therapy dog. He also visits patients, and has posed for a calendar for the TVGRR. Trip -aka “Mr. April”- poses with the firemen who came to his home.

“He’s everything, he is,” says a tearful Ellen. “He’s my best friend. We’ve had so much fun together and so many adventures. He’s wonderful.”

Golden Retriever Hero Toby

Back in March we detailed Golden Toby, a local Maryland dog who had saved his owner’s life.

And, TOBY is featured at our foundation’s site with close to 100 other heroic Goldens.

Well, Toby has recently been named Dog of the Year by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

They did a nice feature on this special pair on WJZ-TV.

Click here and enjoy!

Lady, A True Golden Retriever Search & Rescue Hero

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This beautiful girl is Lady. You can tell that even with that working vest on, that she knows how to have fun (the tennis ball of course gives it away).

Lady has not become a hero by the power of her profound selflessness. She is not into search and rescue for the glory. And no, she doesn’t track down people like the Salinas man who went missing for 36 hours to please her owners. She’s in it for the tennis balls.

Given my dismay over the misdeeds of “self-proclaimed hero”, Scott Shields and his poor and neglectful treatment of Bear, his senior aged Golden Retriever, it is always wonderful to bring you the tales from some of our honest and hard-working heroes. They are the ones who suffer due to the question of credibility that is cast by folks like Mr. Shields.

SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

But, Lady’s handlers and trainer are the real deal. They all sacrifice much time and personal monetary investment to assist in a well-formed emergency response network — constantly prepared to respond to a needed call anywhere and at any time in the Central California area.

Like true hero material, Lady surrounds herself with other heroes. Reitz, a former Army infantryman and public school teacher, has been voluntarily training search and rescue dogs for 20 years, completing 173 searches along the way and helping inspire the Monterey County Sheriffs Department to expand their roster of search and rescue dogs from zero (in 1995) to five. Jim is a magnanimous backer of and volunteer chief for the Sheriff’s Emergency Assistance Team (which led him on the search missions where he met Reitz); his steady volunteerism and prodigious charity work earned him a Jefferson award from the American Institute for Public Service earlier this year.

Golden Retriever Oliver saves owner’s life – alerting to carbon monoxide

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In this great photo by Daryl Sullivan, of The Daily Times, is Jason and Debbie McCall with their seventeen-month-old tennis ball loving Golden, Oliver. Still only a pup, this special dudesaved Jason’s life on a camping trip, thankfully waking him up when the carbon dioxide detector in Jason’s camper went off.

Oliver is actually the 68th Golden hero story that we have learned about over the years! And, of course, we love that name and that he is a tennis ball nut, given our first and most special love having that same name and disposition.

All 68 of these tales of heroism are showcased at our foundation’s site. They are so heart-lifting given the stresses of our world. Go check ’em out!

Golden Retriever Riley: The Real Canine Hero from 9/11 – Updated

I have a page at the foundation site on our Disaster Search and Rescue Goldens. It details a great book, Dog Heroes of September 11th: A Tribute to America’s Search and Rescue Dogs. The book details the stories of 77 handlers and their Search and Rescue dogs who responded at the World Trade Center & Pentagon following the September 11th attacks. It shows a photo of Dissaster SAR Golden, Riley.

Riley is one of the most famous dogs of Sept. 11 because of a photo taken of him at the World Trade Center site a few days after the attacks. In the photo, Riley is in a basket being sent over a 60-foot-deep canyon to search the rubble of the North Tower. “Normally when we send a dog, the handler goes with him,” said Riley’s trainer, Chris Selfridge. “This time we decided it was more practical to just send the dog.

I also recently learned of video being available of Golden Riley through SAR worker and author extraordinaire, Susannah Charleson. She is most familiar with this apparatus on Riley as she has trained in activities with similar gear with her SAR Golden Puzzle.

It is wonderful to actually have footage of the Golden Retriever who really DID work at the World Trade Center (separating him from those preposterous claims made by Scott Shields).

Riley is now retired, and suffers from various skin problems and the like due to his time at Ground Zero.

Feb 26, 2010 Update
So sorry to hear this from
Riley’s dad, Chris Selfridge.

On 2/26/10, Riley passed away. He was our family pet, my friend and partner. He will be greatly missed. I love you Bub!

Kiska: An Incredible Golden Retriever Hero

We have detailed over 60 Golden Retrievers at our page: Heroes Among Us: Our Golden Retriever Life-Savers. I simply love hearing of new tales to add, as I never tire of learning of more wonders to validate my belief in the integral importance of the human-canine bond.

Of course, Golden Kiska, will become the newest hero to be honored, saving his owner’s (Todd Fitzgerald) life by coming between him and a grizzly bear, thus allowing him to run to a nearby home. It marks the second time Kiska has acted heroically. A few years ago Fitzgerald’s son and friends were snowboarding in their yard when a moose came by and charged the boys, all of whom were constrained by their feet being strapped into their snowboards.

Just as the moose was about to stomp one of the boys who was on the ground, a barking Kiska appeared and held the moose at bay, even as the moose was pawing at him, before it wandered off without doing any harm. A neighbor witnessed the whole thing, Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald credits Kiska with saving his life this time.

“If my dog had not tied up that bear for the few seconds, I don’t know what would have happened,” said Fitzgerald. “I think the dog saved my life.”

Learn more about the story . . .

Golden Retriever Hero Jango — Updated!

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See a video of Golden Jango and some other dog heroes getting their awards. Just click here.

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Dogs At Work And Play

Koby Unger looks on as 10-year-old golden retriever Jango has her picture taken after being inducted into the Purina Hall of Fame Monday, May 7, 2007.

Jango woke the Unger family in time for them to escape a house fire which consumed their home. (AP PHOTO/CP, Adrian Wyld)

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Dogs, cat honoured for heroism
By RICK EGLINTON, Toronto Star

… Another of the honoured pets was Jango, a Trail, B.C., golden retriever, who greets customers at her family’s pet grooming business and provides pet therapy to the elderly.

Last year in January, Darrell Unger woke up, a little annoyed, to Jango’s incessant barking. But a second later he remembered Jango doesn’t normally bark and realized his house was filling with smoke. Unger raced to his son’s room to find that Koby, who was four at the time, was unconscious.

He picked up the boy and navigated his way through the smoke-filled house by following Jango’s barking. Once safely outside, Unger went back into the house to get the two family kittens.

Const. Derek Gallon, who happened to be driving by and radioed the fire department, followed Unger inside and found him passed out. Everyone was treated for smoke inhalation and even the two kittens were rescued.

“Me and my husband have three heroes,” said Christine Unger, who wasn’t home that fateful evening.

“Jango is my first hero. My husband … he saved our son’s life … and Const. Gallon saved my husband’s life.”

Darrell Unger said that ever since the fire, which destroyed everything in the house, Jango has put on five or 10 pounds because there is no way he can deny his hero any treats. There was barely a dry eye in the crowd as everyone watched five-year-old Koby place the medal of honour on his pal, whom he now calls “babylove.”

Golden Retriever Puppy Jack already on duty

This story took place close not far from my home in Baltimore County. Check out the video at the link below to get the total story and see Golden Jack as well. Thank goodness Jack already knew that his job was to protect his human baby brother.


Missing Toddler Reunited With Family

Kai Jackson Reporting

When they found Ryan, he was sitting down, dirty from head to toe and was being guarded by the family’s 10-month old golden retriever, Jack, who never left his side.

“The dog stayed with the young boy and protected him. If we hadn’t seen the dog, we never would have seen the boy,” said Stg. Edward Pister.

Golden Retriever Guide Dogs …. Real Wonders!

Providing ‘Second Sight’ For More Than 60 Yrs.
By Michelle Gabrielle, Centamore

Classes at the foundation for potential recipients of the guide dogs consist of about 10 people, but there will be twice as many fully trained dogs available, said Devlin. Before each student arrives, “we make sure we have at least one match in mind.” During the first couple of days of training, students are taught basic commands and are observed as a team. After two days, they are given a dog to stay with them throughout the training in a dormitory room, provided by the foundation.

“What is most amazing are the students,” said Devlin. “We take ordinary people and make them absolutely wonderful dog handlers.” And the dogs, he said, are truly remarkable. “They just connect with people … there is just something so special there.”

Marilyn Tucci, 56, of Shirley, was born with congenital cataracts. When she was in her twenties, she was told she had macular degeneration and was declared legally blind. As her eyesight worsened, she became dependent upon a cane and other “sighted” individuals to navigate her world. But 18 years ago, she decided to try something different – a guide dog – which, she said, was the “best decision” she ever made.

“I did not like using a cane and I did not like relying on sighted people to help me and take me places because I am very independent,” Tucci said. Although she was “scared at first” to trust her life to a dog, she quickly came to appreciate her companion as a “life-saver.” Her first dog, a golden retriever she called “Jessie the Wonder Dog,” saved her life only six weeks after the two were paired. Jessie prevented Tucci from getting hit by a car pulling out of a driveway by throwing her own body in front of her. Neither the dog nor Tucci were injured. “My bond with Jessie was quickly solidified.”

Golden Retriever Heim-Lick Dog on Dave Letterman Show

We’ve done a few stories on Golden Retriever Toby who everyone all across the world was talking about. He had saved his owner’s life ( if you are unfamiliar with this amazing but somewhat questioned story, just go here and here and here) by dislodging a piece of apple that had gotten stuck in her throat.

Well, Toby made it to the big stage last night, appearing on the Dave Letterman Show. But, it was his housemate canine Fred who stole the show.

The reporter that initially broke the story in a small paper from Cecil County, Maryland was along once again for the ride, getting the scoop in New York City. That must have been fun for him to tag along for all the fun.
Toby takes Manhattan
*Pooch who saved life of apple-choking owner tackles the Big Apple, Letterman

By Scott Goss, Cecil Whig

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Calvert resident Debbie Parkhurst holds the cue card used for her appearance on the “Late Show with David Letterman” underneath the marquee of the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York on Wednesday. Joining Parkhurst were her husband, Kevin, and her two dogs, Fred and Toby. Cecil Whig photo by Scott Goss.

NEW YORK – Toby the Heimlich dog cemented his status as Cecil County’s most celebrated hero — or at least its most infamous canine — with an appearance Wednesday on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

“It gives a whole new perspective on man and his best friend,” Letterman told his audience after explaining how Toby saved his owner from choking on an apple by jumping up and down on her chest. “All my dog does is take a dump on the rug,” he said.

Although it was Toby’s story that initially attracted the attention of the “Late Show,” it was his owner, Calvert resident Debbie Parkhurst, and her other dog, Fred, who received most of the attention during Wednesday’s taping of the “Late Show.”

There’s lots more . . . .

Golden Retriever Heim-Lick dog, hero or not? — Update

The recent story, Golden Retriever Toby saves owner’s life (video of story), sure has created allot of buzz.

UPDATE: And, just in case you were wondering what happened to that piece apple, check out this video for the answer.

Okay, back to all the buzz. There’s been so much discussion about this story that the original reporter in Maryland who wrote up the tale, has penned this follow-up . . .

Heroism — it’s in the eye of the beholder
By Scott Goss, Cecil Whig

Whether it’s my next-door neighbor or the producer of “The Ellen Degeneres Show,” people keep asking me whether I believe Debbie Parkhurst’s story about and her dog Toby giving her the Heimlich maneuver.

The answer is, yes, I believe Parkhurst choked on an apple. And yes, I believe Toby’s jumping up and down on her managed to dislodge the errant bit of fruit. But that’s not really the question most people are looking for me to answer. What I think they’re really asking is whether I believe Toby knew what he doing.

To that question, there is no simple answer. I believe Parkhurst believes her 2-year-old golden retriever knew she was in trouble and leapt to the rescue. I’m certainly no animal psychologist so it’s probably not my place to guess at the animal’s intelligence or motives.

But as this story evolves, I’ve noticed that pet lovers can’t help but insist Toby is capable of human-like thoughts and emotions, while the more cynical types see only coincidence. Therein, perhaps, is the reason this story has blown up beyond all of our expectations.

I’ve fielded literally dozens of phone calls and e-mails this week from nationally televised programs, radio stations and local news programs eager to declare Toby a hero. They’ve offered to fly Parkhurst and Toby around the country, to put them up in expensive hotel rooms and grant them the 15 minutes of fame so many of us seem to desperately crave.

There’s nothing wrong with that, I suppose. Toby is definitely hero to Parkhurst, after all.

But somehow it seems like a shame that no one from “The Oprah Winfrey Show” or “Good Morning America” has ever called to ask about the paramedics, firefighters or police officers who risk their lives to help people every day.

I can say with certainty that those heroes know exactly what they’re doing. But maybe that would take all the fun out of guessing.

Golden Retriever Toby Lifesaver — Update

Yesterday morning I put up a story about Golden Toby, the Heimlich boy lifesaver (Golden Retriever Toby saves owner’s life).

Of course, Gary, my pharmacist husband, laughed at when I tried to tell him about it. The story occurred in my home state of Maryland so I’ve had a chance to see Toby profiled on a few different channels. On one channel it spoke of the national interest in the story and requests for this special duo to appear on numerous talk shows. So, we will all have to stay tuned.

It was interesting to hear about Toby being rescued from a dumpster at 4 weeks of age and now being able to repay the kindness.

Now, since you did not get to see the local coverage of Toby, here is a link to a video broadcast.

WJZ Video of Toby’s story

Golden Retriever Toby saves owner’s life!

Wonder dog is all golden: Woman claims pet pooch gave her the Heimlich
By Scott Goss, Cecil Whig

A Calvert woman claims her 2-year-old golden retriever saved her life Friday by giving her the canine version of the Heimlich maneuver. “The doctor said I probably wouldn’t be here without Toby,” said Debbie Parkhurst, 45, a jewelry artist who lives near Rising Sun High School with her husband, Kevin, and their two dogs. “I keep looking at him and saying ‘You’re amazing.’”

Parkhurst said she was home alone with the dogs Friday afternoon when she decided to snack on an apple. Suddenly, she said, a chunk of the fruit became wedged in her windpipe. “It was lodged pretty tight because I couldn’t breathe,” she said. “I tried to do the thing where you lean over a chair and give yourself the Heimlich, but it didn’t work.”

Parkhurst said she then began beating her chest, an action that might have attracted Toby’s attention. “The next think I know, Toby’s up on his hind feet and he’s got his front paws on my shoulders,” she recalled. “He pushed me to the ground, and once I was on my back, he began jumping up and down on my chest.”

Toby’s jumping apparently managed to dislodge the apple from Parkhurst’s windpipe. “As soon as I started breathing, he stopped and began licking my face, as if to keep me from passing out,” she said. A friend soon arrived and, after witnessing the canine rescue, drove Parkhurst to the doctor’s office.

“I, literally, have pawprint-shaped bruises on my chest,” Parkhurst said. “I’m still a little hoarse, but otherwise, I’m OK.”

There’s more . . . .

Golden Retriever Alfie is a Hero too!

Man and his Dog to the Rescue in Icy Waters
1010 Wins

A man and his 2 Golden Retrievers are heroes after rescuing a man from drowning in fridgid waters

When a powerful wave swept Neil Maycock out to sea 37 years ago, only the bravery of a passing stranger and his dog saved the life of the then-3-year-old boy. The stranger, out walking his dog, dove into the sea, and with the help of his Labrador retriever, dragged the drowning boy back to the shores of his native Great Britain.

Yesterday, fate allowed Maycock, now 40, to return the favor.

Maycock dove into the freezing waters of New York’s Centerport Harbor yesterday to rescue a stranger who’d fallen in just after 3 p.m. Maycock’s sidekicks in the rescue? His two golden retrievers.

Before he nearly drowned, 23-year-old Michael Johnson was attempting to walk across the thinly iced-over Centerport Harbor, fire officials said. Nearly across the harbor, about 40 feet from shore, the ice gave way, plunging the Centerport man into the freezing water. A woman standing on shore saw Johnson fall and shouted the alarm.

At that moment, Maycock happened to be strolling on the beach, his two sons beside him and their two dogs trotting up ahead. At the noise, with his 7 and 10-year-old sons frozen in fear, Maycock dashed toward the sinking figure, splashing forward in jeans and hiking boots, shoving aside chunks of ice as he began to swim toward the drowning man. “If I’d thought about it a little bit more, I wouldn’t have done anything,” Maycock said, reached later at home in Centerport. “It was just instinct.”

The two retrievers, Alfie, 5, and Gus, 1, followed Maycock frantically into the water.

For one frightening moment, Johnson slipped beneath the surface, but Maycock took hold of his forearm and began towing him toward land. Maycock kept his flailing charge at arm’s length, to keep both from going under. But Johnson seemed to need more support, and the pair were struggling.

So young Alfie swam alongside Johnson and the man was able to drape his free arm across the dog’s furry back. “It gave him something to hang on to,” Maycock said.

The trio were then able to paddle together to safety. “It was an unbelievable job that this guy did,” said Centerport fire Chief Kevin Kustka.

Maycock, also of Centerport, said his own near-death experience 37 years ago was not unlike the one he encountered on Sunday. He said a wave swept him out to sea and that only the bravery of a passer-by and the man’s Labrador retriever saved him.

Johnson was taken to Huntington Hospital and treated for severe hypothermia. Maycock was treated for cuts on his hands he sustained from battling the sharp bits of ice. “The dogs did not suffer,” Kustka said. “They were able to recover quickly.”

Watching his father’s icy plunge at first, 10-year-old Harry said, “I was a bit nervous and scared.” But later on, “it seems like a big adventure,” he said. “I can’t wait to tell my friends at school about this.”

Yea Hero Golden Meg!

Dog saves family of three from Gilroy fire
Bay City News Service

A family dog is being hailed as a heroine today after she alerted her owner that a neighbor’s house was on fire, saving the family from certain death, Gilroy Fire Department Division Chief Clay Bentson said.

Around 1:40 a.m. the neighbor awoke to his golden retriever, Meg, frantically barking. Thinking the dog needed a walk, the man took her outside and saw fire running up the wall of his neighbor’s house at 9115 Cresthill Court.

After calling 911, the man pounded on the neighbor’s door, awakening the three residents, Bentson said.

Firefighters from the Gilroy Fire Department arrived at the home at 1:54 a.m. and had the fire controlled by 3:58 a.m. but not before the fire had reached three alarms and destroyed about three-quarters of the house, the garage and two cars, Bentson said. He estimated the cost of the damage to be around $400,000.

Golden Maddie is a Life-Saver

I shudder when I hear about Goldens weighing over 100 pounds  since that is about 40 pounds over standard. But, I think in this story the extra weight is what allowed Maddie the ability to do her life-saving maneuver. She is a cutie and obviously a very smart girl to do what she did, though. Just watch below.

Dog Saves Toledo Woman’s Life in Bitter Cold
WTOL Raycom Media

This recent bitter cold weather could have killed a Toledo woman, but she had a guardian angel on four legs. Her dog saved her life.

Sam Good has something called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy that affects the nerves and muscles in her body. It sparks painful seizures through her body. “It’s like Restless Legs Syndrome times 100 and it’s through your spine,” said Good.

Good told us she was getting ready for bed last week with nothing more than her pajamas on and decided to turn out the lights on her unheated back porch. She said the cold ignited another seizure and she fell onto her loveseat. “I was in a ball and I got in a ball because I knew I was going to freeze,” Good explained. “I thought I was going to freeze to death because I couldn’t get words out,” she added.

Temperatures at the time were in the teens.

In the seat, in intense pain, Good says she was finally able to call out Maddie’s name quietly by human standards, but plenty-loud for a dog. “She keeps picking my arm up and picking my arm up,” said Good while re-enacting the event. “And I’m like, ‘Maddie, I can’t.'”

“And she just put her back under my belly and kept lifting and lifting,” demonstrated Good. At that point, Good says she could barely get her arms around the dog’s neck. “She had to keep lifting me onto her back to get the rest of me because I was numb… my spine… I didn’t feel anything.”

The 104-pound Golden Retriever carried Good on her back, dragging Good to her bed inside. Good was still hurting but was warm and eventually the seizures subsided. If it wasn’t for Maddie’s rescue? “I’d been froze,” Good pointedly told us.

She also said Maddie isn’t just her best friend, “she’s the best dog ever.”

Golden Hero Lends Paw in Saving Toddler

Toddler Found In Woods After Wandering From Home

(WBZ) KINGSTON A 2-year-old boy who wandered away from his home in Kingston was found after spending nearly an hour alone in frigid temperatures.

Liam Tompkins was reported missing from the Brookdale Street home around 10:45 a.m. Monday.

Kingston Police and Fire, along with State, Pembroke and Duxbury Police began a search. But it was the boy’s father, William Tompkins, who found him a half-mile away in the middle of a field around 11:20 a.m. The family’s golden retriever lent a helping hand.

“The dog immediately brought him back to the location of the child….(he) was found down on the ground curled up,” said Kingston Police Chief Joe Rebello.

There’s more . . . .