January 21st 2008 7:41 am
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A pint-sized hero comes to the rescue: Manchester man's dog brings aid after he slips on ice
By: Kory Loucks, Journal Inquirer (January 19, 2008)
It could be a story right out of the old "Lassie" television series - except it really happened. Man's best friend came to his owner's rescue Friday.
George Morris, 69, of 125H Main Street, was taking his 4-year-old Shih Tzu, Maxie, for a walk about 5 a.m. when the dog ran off.
Morris tried to go after him, slipped on some ice behind a vehicle in the far corner of the parking lot at the Royal Arms Condominiums where he lives, and couldn't get up.
That's when Maxie started barking.
"I first heard the dog barking and thought, 'no big deal,'" Jared Deschene, 38, a neighbor of Morris', said.
But after about 20 minutes Deschene heard the barking start again.
When Deschene heard the barking start a third time he knew something was wrong. He went outside and saw the Shih Tzu in the parking lot, but didn't see his owner, Morris, anywhere.
Deschene said Maxie would start to walk ahead of him about 2 feet, stop until Deschene came closer, and then he would walk ahead another 5 feet, stop, and wait again.
"He was definitely trying to say something to me," Deschene said. "He knew something I didn't."
In the darkness and rain, however, Deschene couldn't see anything, so he turned around to go to Morris' condominium, thinking he might be inside.
Maxie then ran up to Deschene, grabbed him by the pant leg with his teeth, and tried to pull him to where Morris was lying.
Deschene said he knows it sounds strange now, but when the dog grabbed his leg, he said he thought to himself, "What's wrong, Lassie? What's wrong?"
"I thought he was trying to bite me at first," Deschene said. "The dog brought me right to him after two or three attempts. He was not giving up. It was really weird."
Morris, dressed in dark clothing, was lying face down on the ice about 2 feet away from Deschene.
"He was totally camouflaged and it was all pitch black," Deschene said.
Once Deschene's eyes became accustomed to the dark, however, he could see the outline of Morris' body lying parallel to the curb.
Deschene's girlfriend called 911 and emergency personnel took Morris to Manchester Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released Friday, suffering only from scraped knees.
Morris, who was conscious during the entire ordeal, which lasted over 1½ hours, said he had been fasting under doctor's orders to prepare for a stress test later that day and didn't have the strength to pull himself off the ground after he fell.
"Thank God Jared came along," Morris said. "He's a nice guy - he saved my life."
Deschene was clearly moved by the day's events too, and by Maxie's determination and perserverence. In the past, Deschene said he and the Shih Tzu were not the best of friends, but that has all changed now.
"With all the bad stuff out there, it is nice to share something good. I am just happy that he is okay," Deschene said, adding: "I am proud of the dog."
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