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Dog, cat honored for saving masters

ancientgirl
November 2nd, 2007, 11:30 AM
Stories like these always make me smile.

Dog, cat honored for saving masters By RICHARD PYLE, Associated Press Writer
50 minutes ago



NEW YORK - When Debbie Parkhurst choked on a piece of apple at her Maryland home, her dog jumped in, landing hard on her chest and forcing the morsel to pop out of her throat. When the Keesling family of Indiana was about to be overcome by carbon monoxide, their cat clawed at wife Cathy's hair until she woke up and called for help.

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For their nick-of-time acts, Toby, a 2 1/2-year-old golden retriever, and Winnie, a gray-eyed American shorthair, were named Dog and Cat of the Year by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

In addition, five humans were honored Thursday for their actions toward animals in the past year, including a Bronx firefighter who saved a dog and cat from a burning building.

Neither Parkhurst nor Keesling could explain their pets' timely heroics, though Parkhurst suggested her pooch's Heimlich maneuver might have been guided by divine intervention.

"That's what our veterinarian said," she said. "He wasn't making a joke; he's very spiritual, and now I have to agree with him."

Both pets were themselves rescued in infancy Toby as a 4-week-old puppy tossed into a garbage bin to die, and Winnie as a week-old orphan hiding under a barn, so helpless that Keesling's husband, Eric, had to feed her milk with an eyedropper.

As the Keeslings recalled it, a gas-driven pump being used to remove flood waters from their basement in New Castle, Ind., last March malfunctioned, spreading carbon monoxide through the house. By the time Winnie moved into rescue mode, the couple's 14-year-old son, Michael, was already unconscious.

"Winnie jumped on the bed and was clawing at me, with a kind of angry meow," Cathy Keesling said. "When I woke up I felt like a T-bar had hit me across the head."

State police and sheriff's officers responding to her 911 call said the family was only minutes from death, judging by the amount of poisonous gas in the house.

Debbie Parkhurst's husband, Kevin, was at his job at a Wilmington, Del., chemical firm when she took a midday break from making jewelry and bit into an apple.

"Normally I peel them, but I read in Good Housekeeping magazine that the skin has all the nutrients, so I ate the skin, and that's what caused me to choke," she recalled.

"I couldn't breathe and I was in panic when Toby jumped on me. He never does that, but he did, and saved my life."

Both Toby and Winnie accompanied their owners to the awards luncheon at Manhattan's posh Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center.

mummummum
November 3rd, 2007, 01:01 PM
Awww... I love nice stories like these as well.

CearaQC
November 3rd, 2007, 01:50 PM
Long ago, I knew a family who had a diabetic teenage son, and a wonderful Dalmatian. I loved visiting there because that dog was friendly and loving towards all people, had extremely good manners, and was also fun to play doggie games.

Their son was never good at keeping an eye on his condition or testing his blood, and often had episodes a few times a year. Every time their son had an episode in the middle of the night, their dog would go bonkers, running all over the house barking and pawing the parents to wake up. Every time, the dog saved their son's life, because if it wasn't for the dog, the parents could have very well woke up any morning to find their son in a coma or worse.

ancientgirl
November 3rd, 2007, 02:31 PM
I think stories like this are just so wonderful. I saw something on Animal Planet recently when I stayed home one day, about a diabetic woman who had a cat that also would warn the family about her condition.

Her husband rescued the cat as a kitten, and the woman hated cats, but they kept it because it needed a home. And it turns out that cat saved her life on several occasions.

Love4himies
November 5th, 2007, 09:16 AM
These stories warm my heart. I am sure there are many more stories of pets saving their owners that we don't ever hear of. How their lives could have turned out so much different if not for their beloved pets.

ancientgirl
November 5th, 2007, 09:35 AM
To me it further reinforces the belief that they DO know what is going on around them and they ARE aware. They aren't just dumb animals like some people think.

Frenchy
November 5th, 2007, 12:43 PM
Both pets were themselves rescued in infancy Toby as a 4-week-old puppy tossed into a garbage bin to die, and Winnie as a week-old orphan hiding under a barn, so helpless that Keesling's husband, Eric, had to feed her milk with an eyedropper.


Rescue them and they will rescue you ! :thumbs up

ancientgirl
November 5th, 2007, 01:05 PM
What's the saying? No good deed goes unnoticed?