A Guide Dog stepped in front of a bus to save the life of his blind owner.
As visually impaired owner Audrey Stone, 62, was crossing the road with her ‘service dog’ Figo, a fast moving minibus came hurtling towards them. It appears the driver did not notice the pair crossing the road in Brewster, New York. The Golden Retriever, Figo, saw the vehicle and positioned himself between the oncoming bus and his blind companion.
He suffered crush injuries to his legs after being trapped under a wheel.
The gentle dog underwent surgery at New York’s Putnam County and is recovering from fractured legs. Audrey Stone is glad to have not suffered more serious injuries and can’t wait to be back with her Figo. According to reports she is hospitalised with a broken ankle, elbow and three cracked ribs.
Figo has been hailed as a ‘hero’, although he wouldn’t know what it means. He waited patiently while injured, for medics to attend to his companion at the scene of the accident.
CBS New York reports:
The golden retriever, Figo, and his owner, Audrey Stone, 62, were crossing the street in Brewster on Monday when Figo saw the bus coming toward them, CBS2’s Lou Young reported.
Figo then moved from Stone’s right side to the left putting himself in harm’s way, Young reported.
As Stone lay injured on the ground, Brewster Police Chief John Del Gardo said despite having a severe leg injury, Figo would not leave Stone’s side.
Amazingly, Figo didn’t yelp in pain but calmly struggled to stay with Stone.
“The dog did not want to leave the side of the woman at all…it was the same thing with her, she did not want to leave the dog’s side,” Del Gardo said. “She was very, very concerned about the dog. My officers that were there and the Fire Department assured her everything would be fine.”
“You really can’t touch an injured dog guarding someone. Touch them — they’re aggressive. Not this dog,” said Del Gardo. “I’ve seen service dogs in action, they really are a working wonder.”
“Even though he was hurt so badly, he was only on three legs at that time, he was still trying to get to the blind woman as much as he could,” said witness Paul Schwartz.
The dog didn’t stop struggling until paramedics took Stone away in an ambulance.
Stone suffered a fractured elbow and ankle and broken ribs.
Figo’s right leg was cut down to the bone, police said.
Both are expected to be OK, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported.
Figo was taken to a local vet who said his behavior is remarkable even for a service animal, Young reported.
“I can’t explain it. Whether he did that consciously or unconsciously, it’s pretty amazing,” said Dr. Louann Pfeifer.
“I thank him. I thank God that I have him and that he survived too. I love him,” said Stone.
This is the third service dog Stone has had and she’s been fond of them all. But this one is providing extra incentive for her to get past her hospital treatment and on her feet, Young reported.
“I want to get home to my dog,” said Stone.
Once again, Figo to the rescue.
The bus driver told police he didn’t see the pair crossing the road. He was transporting two kindergartners. They weren’t hurt.
The bus driver was given a summons for not yielding, Schuck reported.
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In TODAY’s Take, Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, Al Roker, and Tamron Hall chat about a video that has gone viral overnight of a golden retriever resting on the heads of two of her playmates who are locked in a tug over a tennis ball.
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