A golden retriever named Yogi was honored as the Humane Society of the United States 2011 Valor Dog of the Year.
Paul Horton, a 58 year old from Texas, was riding his bicycle when he accidently hit a curb and crashed, causing him to loose consciousness. Yogi, his beloved Golden Retriever, wouldn’t leave his side. Finally, when Horton regained consciousness he realized he couldn’t move. He urged Yogi to go get help. Yogi went to the road and encountered Horton’s neighbors barking at them until they followed him to Horton’s side.
Doctors diagnosed that his vertebrae had pinched his spinal cord, paralyzing him from the chest down. They explained that the dog alerting his neighbor was instrumental in getting him to a hospital and preventing him from choking to death or going into shock. Dr. Juan La Torre of St. David’s Rehabilitation Hospital, said that he may have not survived if he hadn’t been found until the next day.
Horton remains paralyzed and in a wheelchair, but he has regained some feeling in his torso, legs and back.
Horton said that Yogi behaves differently since the accident. “He won’t leave my site. If I change rooms, he changes rooms. If I move over five feet, he moves over five feet.”
“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.”
source: Associated Press