Brewster, N.Y. – Living up to the title of man’s best friend, a heroic service dog named Figo is being recognized for saving the life of his owner, Audrey Stone, 62, after leaping in front of a moving school mini-bus.
When the service dog saw an oncoming mini school bus heading for Stone, 62, the blind woman he was trained to guide, the golden retriever’s protective instincts kicked in. He threw himself at the closest part of the vehicle he could, according to The Journal News.
The bus’s driver claimed he never saw the pair as they crossed the road. The two kindergarteners that were on the bus were not injured. The driver was issued a citation for failure to yield to a pedestrian.
“The dog took a lot of the blow,” Brewster Police Chief John Del Gardo said. “And he did not want to leave her side. He stood right with her. He was there to save her.”
Paul Schwartz, manager of a gas station at the intersection where the accident occurred, immediately ran over to offer his assistance.
“The dog didn’t want to leave her side,” Schwartz said. “He was flopping over to her, and she didn’t want him to get away from her, either. She kept screaming” Figo’s name, said Schwartz. “We kept telling her he was fine.”
One of the EMTs on scene and Schwartz bandaged the dogs leg after his heroic deed.
“He let us wrap up his leg without any problem. He wasn’t barking or crying or yelping. But he kept pulling toward her,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz said Stone, was “very upset as she was getting in the ambulance that he wasn’t with her. After she left, we put him in the (Brewster Fire Department) truck and they took him to the vet.”
Stone remained in Danbury Hospital on Tuesday, with a broken ankle and elbow and three fractured ribs, while Figo is being treated at Middlebranch Veterinary with his leg being cut down to the bone.
What is most inspiring about this story is the loyalty Figo showed towards his owner. The fact that this dog was willing to give its own life, in an effort to save its person, speaks to the deep bond shared between humans and their dogs.
The love between a dog and its person can never be underestimated!