Yogi named 2011 Valor Dog of the Year
Yogi, in true Lassie form, ran to get help after his master fell of his bicycle and was seriously injured.
Paul Horton, 58, of Austin, Texas, was riding his bicycle with Yogi jogging alongside when he hit a curb. While he was unconscious, the dog remained at his side. When Horton, a 58-year-ol retired mechanical engineer, regained consciousness he couldn’t move.
According to the Associated Press, Horton urged Yogi to get help. Yogi went back to the road and encountered Horton’s neighbors, and barked at them until they followed him back to Horton.
Horton was taken to a hospital, where doctors diagnosed that his vertebrae had pinched his spinal cord, paralyzing him from the chest down.
“The dog alerting his neighbor was instrumental in getting him to a hospital and preventing his choking to death or going into shock. He might not have survived if he hadn’t been found until the next day,” said Dr. Juan La Torre, medical director of the spinal cord injury and amputee program at St. David’s Rehabilitation Hospital in Austin.
Horton remains paralyzed and in a wheelchair, but he has regained some feeling in his torso, legs and back.
Yogi behaves differently since the accident, he said.
“He stays within sight of me in the house. If I change rooms, he changes rooms. If I move over five feet, he moves over five feet,” Horton said.
“It takes a very unique and special dog to do what Yogi did,” said Nicole Paquette, Texas senior state director of the society. “He obviously has a true bond with Paul, and it just demonstrates how close we are to our companion animals and how much we need them.”
(Photo: Horton and Yogi, by Rhonda Lee / KXAN)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 25th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2011, accident, animals, austin, award, bicycle, dogs, golden retriever, help, hero, hero dogs, hsus, humane society of the united states, paul horton, pets, rescue, spinal injury, texas, valor dog of the year, yogi