There must be something innate in dogs that makes them want to help and protect us – it surely can’t just be Alpo that makes dogs display so much love and devotion to their owners. The gallantry of their behavior is magnified when such heroics are exhibited for the benefit of complete strangers. There are many instances of, and awards given out for, dogs comporting themselves with the utmost bravery in assisting humans who find themselves in grave situations.
In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina left the City of New Orleans (and much of the Gulf Coast) at the mercy of deadly floodwaters, one man was pulled from the perilous bilge by a Black Labrador Retriever with a heart of pure gold. The dog, who was herself later pulled from the soup by rescue workers, was given a standing ovation when being honored at that year’s Genesis Awards. This saintly dog’s name, naturally, was Katrina.
Soft Spot for Kittens and Kids
English bulldogs are not known for being strong swimmers, as is evident in their truncated build, but Napoleon wasn’t about to let his physical limitations hamper his determination when he headed out into the middle of a deep lake. His goal was to rescue a burlap bag full of kittens that someone had cruelly tossed into the water. Four of the six kittens in the bag he retrieved survived, and later greeted Napoleon with a mewling hero’s welcome at their adoption center.
When it comes to their owners, of course, dogs will go above and beyond the call of duty. In Cordes Lakes, Arizona, when three-year old Victoria Bensch wandered off into the foothills near her home, her faithful companion followed along. Blue, a Queensland Heeler, stayed with the little girl all night as temperatures plummeted to near-freezing. At first, Blue was nervous about search-and-rescue personnel approaching his girl, but soon enough he was jumping right into the helicopter to accompany his young charge to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where she was treated and released, alive and well thanks to Blue.