A Scottsdale man is alive today, thanks to a phone call made to 911 by his 18-month old German shepherd, Buddy. It all happened last Wednesday, when Joe Stalnaker, who lives alone, suffered a seizure. Without blinking an eyelid, Buddy dialled 911 and whimpered and barked on the phone in response to the emergency operator's query about the caller needing assistance.
When the police arrived, they found Buddy barking loudly next to Joe, who had collapsed from the seizure. After spending two days in the hospital, Joe is back home recuperating.
While Buddy is a very smart dog, he has also been trained to do this since he was 8-weeks old. Joe adopted him from Michigan-based Paws with a Cause Organization, which helped train Buddy to pick up the phone and dial 911. The phone is specially programmed, so that Buddy's teeth hit the buttons neccessary to make contact with the operator.
Also Joe's address is flagged, so that emergency personnel know to expect a call from a trained assistance dog.
All these precautions are due to Joe's tendency to have seizures, the result of a head injury he suffered from, ten years ago.
In fact this is not the first time Buddy has had to call 911. He has saved Joe's life twice before, when he had similar attacks. Needless to say, Joe is grateful to have such a great dog around and knows that he could not live independently if he did not have Buddy.
Sources: SFGate.com, Skynews.com