Assistance Dog Had Made Two Other 911 Calls Since Last August 

Makes a great story doesn’t it? Everyone likes to hear these dramatic and heartwarming tales of our pets as hero’s and there are plenty of them out there. How many times have you heard of “man’s best friend” saving their owner from certain death by dragging them unconscious from a burning building? So when you see a headline like this you get a picture in your mind of a man laying on the floor twitching and frothing at the mouth while this heroic Rin Tin Tin lookalike frantically paws the phone and dials 911 by tapping on the number pad – just like he had been taught to do! The dog didn’t call 911 – he dialed it! You look over at your Fido and say “would you do that for me?”

Assistance Dog Trainers Real Hero’s 

Which of course is totally unfair. This particular dog had been specially trained since he was 8 weeks old to do this very task – which was to press a pre-programed button on the phone until a 911 operator came on the line when his owner was in distress. A pretty cool thing for a dog to do but not spontaneous like our newsies would like you to believe. (And by the way msnbc, try to get the spelling right before you go to press, our hero’s owner is Joe Stalnaker in the article and Joe Stalnak in the video – which one is right?) And not to take anything away from Buddy, but the real story isn’t quite so dramatic. Our local newspaper tends to error on the side of drama for the sake of getting people to read “below the fold.” That’s what irks me so much about print journalism – but that’s a subject for another day.

Read the story, it’s a good one anyway, and a much better read than what you find occupying the front page these days. More importantly though is that it focused attention on Paws With A Cause, a Michigan based organization that trains assistance dogs for people with disabilities – even though the paper grudgingly gave it only one line at the end of the story. My version of the story would have been to mention Paws With A Cause in the first paragraph, because in my mind, those guys are the real hero’s.

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