PHOENIX - "Man's best friend" doesn't go far enough for Buddy — a German shepherd who remembered his training and saved his owner's life by calling 911 when the man had a seizure.And it's not the first time Buddy has been there for owner Joe Stalnaker, a police officer said Sunday.
On a recording of the 911 call Wednesday, Buddy is heard whimpering and barking after the dispatcher answers and repeatedly asks if the caller needs help.
"Hello, this is 911. Hello ... Can you hear me? Is there somebody there you can give the phone to," says the dispatcher, Chris Scott.
Police were sent to Stalnaker's home, and after about three minutes Buddy is heard barking loudly when the officers arrived.
Scottsdale police Sgt. Mark Clark said Stalnaker spent two days in a hospital and recovered from the seizure.
"It's pretty incredible," Clark said.
Clark said police are dispatched whenever 911 is called, but that Stalnaker's address was flagged in Scottsdale's system with a notification that a trained assistance dog could call 911 when the owner was incapacitated.
Clark said Stalnaker adopted Buddy at the age of 8 weeks from Michigan-based Paws with a Cause, which trains assistance dogs, and trained him to get the phone if he began to have seizure symptoms. Buddy, now 18 months old, is able to press programmed buttons until a 911 operator is on the line, Clark said.
Clark said Buddy has made two other 911 calls when Stalnaker was having seizures. He said Stalnaker's seizures are the result of a head injury he suffered about 10 years ago during a military training exercise.
Now just a note about Gremlin...
Gremlin may be lazy but he does exhibit signs of life when I come home. He's usually waiting at the door or comes running in when I arrive. The last couple of days he's stopped responding to being called and just lies there. I was wondering if he was sick.
Yesterday when I came home from work, he didn't come greet me at the door and didn't come when called. I had to go looking for him. I found him in the bedroom, lying dejectedly in front of my suitcases. I had taken those out a couple of days ago.
Poor doggie knows what the suitcases coming out means. Sigh.