Tia The Terrific Terrier
I'm one of those people that just can't get enough dog hero stories. Today's is especially amazing because Tia the Patterdale Terrier isn't even owned by the man she saved.
Tia woke up Sonia Rampley, 78, in the middle of the night after Roy, 83, suffered a stroke and fell out of bed.
The five-year-old Patterdale terrier began frantically scratching at her hand. The shocked OAP immediately called 999 for an ambulance in the nick of time.
Mrs Rampley, of Norwich, said: 'It must have been about 2.10am and I was lying in bed when Tia started scratching my hand.
'She obviously wasn't getting enough of a reaction with her paw so she got her claws out and I had blood and scratch marks on my hand, she was so determined to wake me up.
'I said to her "You don't want to go outside at this time of night do you?" and I took her out to the garden, but she just walked through the door and walked back in again.'
The grandmother added: 'I went back upstairs to the bedroom and turned the light on and my husband was lying on the floor.
'Roy had obviously been there for a couple of hours and was freezing cold as we don't have the heating on in our bedroom.
'He was paralyzed down one side - he just couldn't speak or do anything.
'If it hadn't been for Tia I wouldn't have found him until the morning when it might have been too late.'
The couple had been watching Tia, along with another dog, as part of a program called Barking Mad. It's a local dog-sitting service run by Kevin Rowe, used as an alternative to putting your dog in a kennel when away. Your dog stays with a host family that provides a warm, loving environment while you're out of town.
Mrs Rampley added: 'It is so lucky we were looking after Tia. We'll never forget what she did that night.'
According to Rowe, the Rampley's are among his best pet-sitters. I don't know what the Rampley's get paid to sit, but I don't think anything will compare to what they just got from Tia. The gift of life...priceless.
Wow, what an amazing story.