Humans have lived in harmony with animals for thousands of years. People’s pets are very important to them – and when this relationship is reciprocal, pets often demonstrate great loyalty to their owners. If you show your dog or cat a lot of love, you’ll receive it in turn – but there’s more to the relationship than just affection.
There have been a number of scientific research projects into the positive health benefits of pet ownership, ranging from the physical such as exercising with your pet, to the mental including companionship. Dogs and cats in particular are viewed fondly in most cultures, and the idea of the “heroic pet” has been used in a number of books, films and television programs. Lassie is the best example of this – the canine star of more than ten films and numerous television programs, Lassie pulled of numerous fictional heroic feats.
Let’s look at five real-life heroic pets which could rival Lassie for their dedication to looking after their humans:
In 2008, in Phoenix, Arizona, Buddy won his place in the heroic pet hall of fame. Buddy’s owner, Joe Stalnaker, suffered from seizures after a head injury a number of years ago. One Wednesday morning Stalnaker was struck by a particularly violent seizure. Luckily, Buddy, his specially trained assistance dog, was on hand to help. As Stalnaker lay incapacitated, Buddy managed to dial 911 on the house telephone and then bark until the police dispatched officers to check on Stalnaker’s situation. The best bit? This wasn’t the first time Buddy had dialled 911 and saved his owner’s life – it was the third!
D-boy’s owner, Roberta Trawick, was sitting quietly in her home in Oklahoma City. D-Boy, her two-year-old pitbull, which she’d adopted from an animal shelter two months earlier, was in another room. Suddenly, a stranger entered Trawick’s home – and he was carrying a gun. The man ordered Trawick to lie on the floor. Enter D-Boy, who scares away the intruder – despite being shot 3 times in the process.
While cats may be slightly more aloof than dogs, that doesn’t mean that they’re not equally likely to act heroically when it’s really necessary. Take Pepper, for example, a cat from Devon. It’s a few weeks before Christmas 2010, and Pepper’s owners are out shopping. When a fire ignited in the family home, Pepper opens a kitchen window using a technique he’s developed to get in and out of the house when he wants to. Smoke billows from the window and is noticed by the neighbours. The neighbours call the fire brigade and the fire is extinguished before anything more serious than smoke damage occurs. Christmas is saved, thanks to Pepper the cat.
Here’s another faithful feline whose quick-thinking actions saved the day. Winnie’s owners, the Keeslings, had installed a water pump into their basement. Unfortunately, in March 2007 it malfunctioned and began to fill the Keesling family home with dangerous Carbon Monoxide. Winnie alerted the family – who were already dangerously close to fatal unconsciousness due to the gas. Thanks to Winnie biting her owner and pulling Mrs Keesling’s hair in order to bring her round, the family managed to get out of the house in time.
Willie the parrot lacked the physical strength to save a toddler named Hannah, whom his owner Megan Howard was baby-sitting. He did, however, have one tool at his disposal – his voice. Hannah began to choke during her breakfast, while Megan was out of the room. Willie the parrot gained Megan’s attention by calling until she came back into the room, realised what was going on, and removed the blockage for the toddler’s throat.
Our pets hold a special place in our hearts and that’s why we’re so willing to pay for our pets to receive medical treatment. If you need pet insurance from a company who cared about animals as much as you do, get a quote from The Co-operative Insurance.