An elderly woman nearly died after twisting her ankle during a trip out to the mailbox. She was saved by the tenacious dedication of her pet Chihuahua, who barked up a storm for hours until help finally arrived.
Marie Alexander, 92, lives a quiet life with her pet Chihuahua, 9-year-old Sassy. She had rescued the furry little critter eight years ago, adopting Sassy right before she was slated to be euthanized at an animal shelter, according to Shareably.
One day, Alexander stepped out of her home to fetch the daily mail, with Sassy trotting alongside her. What should have been routine trip became perilous when she twisted her ankle.
"When I stepped on to the walkway, my foot twisted," Alexander recalled. "I just fell onto the ground."
Injured and unable to get back up, Alexander's situation was made worse by her decision not to bring her cell phone with her. Unable to call for help and flanked by high fencing as well as shrubbery, the elderly woman may have simply died on her lawn.
That was when Sassy sprung into action. Never reportedly the most vocal of dogs, the little Chihuahua began barking and did not stop, even bounding out onto the street and calling out to every passing car. Seized by the instinct to protect, she barked for five hours, only ceasing her calls for help to return to Alexander and comfort her.
Sassy's persistent barking finally drew the attention of a couple living nearby. When they walked over to the lawn to see what had the Chihuahua so worked up, they found Alexander lying on an ant mound near a shady portion of her front lawn.
Suffering from severe dehydration and bites, Alexander was taken to the hospital. Having nearly died from exposure, the elderly pet owner believes that Sassy had repaid her for giving her a home when she was on the brink of euthanasia eight years beforehand.
"She saved my life, just like I saved hers," Alexander said of her very brave, very dedicated dog.
There have been numerous chronicled stories of dogs acting heroically when humans are in danger.
In one instance, an Arizona woman named Bethe Bennett thought she would die in her home after falling and breaking her leg. Unable to call for help, she thought she was a goner until Danny, a miniature Schnauzer who she was fostering, was intuitive enough to bring her a telephone to call for an ambulance, according to The Week.
While some canines instinctively spring into action to save their imperiled owners, service dogs are trained through scent to help detect or help monitor cases of cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, PTSD and heart disease, according Al Jazeera.
"I think dogs have always saved our lives," said Dr. Cynthia Otto of the University of Pennsylvania, who specialized in training dogs in scent detection. "And I think we're just now recognizing the many ways that they can do that."