Everyone loves to read stories about animal heroes. Meet these 5 amazing creatures that saved their human’s lives and deserve recognition. From snowy mountains to summer lakes, these heroes will amaze you.
Velvet, the Black Lab Mountaineer
On President’s Day weekend in 2007, Matty Bryan, a special education teacher, and several friends from Portland, OR, set out to scale the snowy Mount Hood, camp for the night, and then head back home. They brought along all the food and supplies they would need, along with Velvet, Bryant’s black lab mix that he’d rescued a few years before from the Nevada desert. They made it about halfway up the mountain before they decided to stop and set up camp for the night.
The weather changed dramatically overnight and they all awoke to freezing, high winds and a total whiteout. The group decided it was time to abandon the climb and set their sights on getting back down the mountain to safety. They all roped up together, including Velvet. When the weather got too bad to continue, they called the sheriff’s office at the base of the mountain and found a boulder to bunker down next to. They spent hours huddled together under their sleeping bags waiting for help to arrive. Velvet, without prompting, stretched his body out across each of them in turn, keeping them warm beneath his body heat. When the group was finally rescued, they each credited Velvet for keeping them warm enough to survive the winter storm.
Willie, the Quaker
On one afternoon in November of 2008, Samantha Kuusk left her 2-year-old daughter, Hannah, home with her roommate, Meagan Howard, while she went to college. Also at home was Howard’s Quaker parrot, Willie.
Howard says she only left Hannah’s side for a quick moment while she used the bathroom. She had only been in the bathroom for about 30 seconds when she heard Willie squawking and screeching at the top of his lungs, screaming the words, “Mama, baby!” over and over. Howard came rushing out of the bathroom and found little Hannah thrashing about, with a blue face, and gasping for air. Howard immediately performed the Heimlich maneuver on Hannah and dislodged a piece of food from her throat. Willie had only been living with the toddler for about 2 weeks but had already grown attached to her and knew when something was not right.
Charley, the West Highland Terrier
Late one afternoon in August of 2008, Frances Gippert was walking her West Highland terrier, Charley. Charley had a normal routine that he liked to follow during his walks, but this time he urgently pulled Gippert into a different direction. Charley finally stopped in front of an empty house about three houses down and began barking furiously. Gippert looked closely, expecting to see a racoon or neighborhood cat, and saw a man lying unconscious behind the bushes. Gippert quickly called 911 and later found out that the man was checking out his rental property when he fell off the roof and was knocked unconscious by the fall. The man had laid there for over 2 hours before one alert little dog saved him.
Jake, the Black Lab
On one hot summer day in 2008, Diane Bailey, her family, and their black lab, Bailey, spent the remainder of their vacation on the banks of the Platte River near Omaha, NE. Bailey’s 12-year-old son, Tony, was wading in the waist-high river.
Bailey was busy chatting with her family back on shore when Jake suddenly shot across the grounds, towards Tony, and plunged into the river.
Apparently, the water had been deeper than anyone had thought and Tony had become caught up in the current and was being pulled under. He’d tried to scream for help but nobody had heard him, except for Jake. Jake swam directly to where Tony was thrashing about and Tony put his arms around Jake as Jake pulled him back to safer waters.
Scottee, Blue, and Danny Boy, the Hero Horses
On an early February morning in 2010, Bob Bennington was heading over to his family farm to feed his family’s horses. Bennington got out of his truck and was walking towards the feed barn when Blue, the 28-year-old horse, ran in front of him like a bat out of hell. Bennington was trying to figure out what was wrong with Blue when he saw five coyotes circling him and rounding closer and closer towards him.
Just then, Scottee, his wife’s horse, came charging full speed towards Bennington, who was now surrounded by the coyotes and terrified. Scottee, Blue, and another horse, Danny Boy all came to Bennington’s rescue, forming a tight circle around him, preparing to fight the coyotes off to protect their beloved owner. The coyotes lunged at Bennington, but the horses closed rank and kicked them off until they gave up and retreated to the nearby cornfield.