Orlando Beagle Saves Life of Diabetic By Dialing 911
Another great story about a great service dog! This one comes from the Orlando Sentinel.com
On the day Kevin Weaver almost died, he remembers walking inside his Ocoee home with his dog. Then, nothing.
He has no memory of the diabetic seizure that caused him to collapse and hit his head. Or when his dog, Belle, got the cell phone that is always on the coffee table and bit into the number 9 on the keypad. This automatically dialed 911.
The next thing Weaver recalls is waking up in the hospital. The dog was there, too.
"There is no doubt in my mind that I'd be dead if I didn't have Belle," said Weaver, 34, whose blood sugar had dropped dangerously low. Belle had been trained to summon help in just those circumstances.
Today, the 17-pound beagle is expected in Washington to receive the 2006 VITA Wireless Samaritan Award, given to someone -- or, in this case, some dog -- who used a cell phone to save a life, prevent a crime or help in an emergency. It's the first time a dog has received the award.
While Belle's honor is unusual, her role in medicine is not. She is among the growing legion of so-called "service dogs" that help patients with physical disabilities, hearing loss, diabetes and other conditions. The animals might turn on lights, alert people to sounds and generally provide extra assistance for the disabled or chronically ill.
"The change in [the patients'] lives is just amazing in terms of the freedom it offers and the level of security it provides," said Al Peters, executive director of Hearing and Service Dogs of Minnesota.
Here's another article on this same story at SFGate.com.