Rescued German Shepherd Saves Owner's Life Months After Being Adopted
A few weeks ago, Heather Centrella, the adoptions office manager at Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge Inc., got a call from Brian Myers. He'd adopted a 6-year-old German shepherd named Sadie from the shelter in September of last year.
"He told me he wanted to tell me an amazing story," Centrella told Daily Paws in an interview.
Sadie had saved Myers' life.
A Protector When He Needed It Most
As reported by ABC 7, Myers suffered a stroke in his New Jersey home on Jan. 16 and collapsed on his bedroom floor.
Sadie came to his side and licked his face, keeping him awake during the terrifying ordeal.
As she stood watch over him, Myers thought he might be able to use Sadie as a counterweight to get himself off the floor. When he grabbed her collar, "she instinctively knew to help me by pulling her body weight and pulling me enough to give me the momentum to get me out of the corner I was stuck in," he told the network.
Centrella said when she heard the story, she got chills. "I just couldn't believe he was telling me this story that you almost only see in movies," she says.
Sadie has no rescue training, Centrella says. "She was so in tune with [Brian] that she knew he was in distress and needed help."
An Instinctual Connection Between Animal and Owner
The two clearly share an incredible bond, even though it's only been a few months since Myers added the pup to his family. Myers says he decided to adopt Sadie in the first 30 minutes after meeting her.
Sadie had been surrendered to RBARI when her previous family's living situation changed. She needed a "loving home that understood her limitations," Centrella says. "Brian just ticked all the boxes."
"She jumped into my car and we've developed a strong bond," he wrote.
The Road to Recovery
The two shared an emotional reunion outside the Kessler Rehabilitation Center after Myers' release Feb. 9. The pup was exuberant at seeing her owner, who exits the facility in a wheelchair to cheers from well-wishers. He'd previously told NBC 4 that he "can't wait to see her. Give her a hug and kiss and I'll probably cry my eyes out doing so."
From the looks of it, there wasn't a dry eye in the house when these two reunited.
Since Myers' call to Centrella a few weeks ago, Sadie's gained national attention for her incredible heroism. PETA recognized the rescue pup with a Heroic Dog Award, "along with a 'doggie bag' of toys and vegan treats" in recognition of her actions. Crystal Silmi, an executive assistant at PETA, said Sadie is "really a dog deserving acknowledgment for having helped save her guardian's life."
Though Sadie had been staying with Myers' family while he recovers, he hopes the two will be back at home together soon. Because it's not yet clear what Myers' long-term physical needs will be, RBARI set up a fundraiser to ensure Sadie's future. He wants to make sure Sadie will be cared for, Centrella says.