- As we all know, dogs are very good.
- But these nine dogs did more than seek out the usual cuddles, walks, and belly rubs – they performed actual heroics.
- A 1-year-old dog, Rambo, saved his owner after he cut his leg with a chainsaw, while a dog named Zippy sacrificed his own life to save his family from a house fire.
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As the saying goes: We don’t deserve dogs.
This year alone, there have been plenty of stories about amazing pups. Among them, these nine dogs made a difference this year, whether it was by helping us out with our laundry or sticking by their human’s side until the very end.
Keep scrolling to learn the stories of these hero pups.
Three guide dogs helped Thomas Panek become the first blind person to complete the New York City Half Marathon with guide dogs.
- Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Guiding Eyes For The Blind
Panek ran the race in March alongside his longtime guide dog, Gus, and two helpers, Westley and Waffle. The trio took turns helping Panek, the president and CEO of Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a service that connects blind people and guide dogs, run the 13.1-mile race.
The canines would switch every three to five miles, and they were monitored by vets the entire time. They even got their own little sets of running booties for the task. Panek got to cross the finish line with his best bud, Gus, making him the first person to run a half marathon with the help of dogs, rather than human guides.
Doing your owner’s laundry definitely qualifies as a good deed in our book.
- Rancho The Dog/YouTube
In July, a video was uploaded to Rancho the Dog’s YouTube channel that showed him doing something truly heroic: helping his owner, Petra Dvorakova, with her laundry. He even knows how to fold!
The video has garnered over 32,000 views, with many comments praising Rancho for his smarts and saying that he knows more about doing laundry than the average human.
A bloodhound found a missing 3-year-old boy in just 28 minutes — after humans had been searching for two hours.
In September, 3-year-old Aedric Hughes escaped from his grandmother’s backyard for “a little adventure,” his mother told the Miami Herald. Aedric, who has autism, had wandered into the woods behind the house, and he was missing for around two hours before the police department decided to send out the bloodhounds.
“Once the dog hit the ground, it was 28 minutes until we got the child,” Sheriff Bob Johnson told the Herald. Aedric was 200 yards away and covered in moss, briars, and mud, but thankfully only suffered some bug bites and scratches.
Zippy sacrificed his life to help save his family from a house fire.
- Fox13 Tampa Bay
On a normal September night, the Butler family and their dog, Zippy, went to sleep in their Florida home. Around 2 a.m., the fire alarm went off – but only for a few seconds. Thankfully, this was enough to alert Zippy that the entire home was slowly going up in flames.
“He [went] from bed to bed, back and forth,” his owner, Leroy Butler, told Fox13. Sadly, after the entire Butler family got out, they were unable to return to retrieve their heroic dog.
“We adopted him as a pet, so we can only … I can only say he was a good dog. He only did what he could,” Butler said.
In Thailand, a three-legged-dog named Ping Pong rescued a baby who had been buried alive.
The 6-year-old dog “sniffed, barked, and dug at the ground” in Ban Nong Kham village in Cham Phuang district until the baby’s legs were exposed, according to The Guardian. The baby was buried by their 15-year-old mother, who told authorities she was afraid her parents would find out she was pregnant.
Ping Pong only has use of three of his legs because he was hit by a car. “I kept him because he’s so loyal and obedient, and always helps me out when I go into the fields to tend to my cattle,” his owner, Usa Nisaika, told The Guardian.
Daisy stayed by her owner’s side after he died on a hike, and she alerted authorities to their position by barking.
Daisy and her owner, an unidentified 64-year-old man, were reported missing by his wife in Washington state in April. After searching for an entire day, the search-and-rescue team followed the sound of a dog barking until they found Daisy and her owner, who had died. Daisy refused to leave his side.
“Without the barking of his loyal companion Daisy, we never would have located the missing man. It was amazing,” the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
Charlie, an 11-year-old golden retriever, gets help from his own seeing-eye dog, Maverick.
The Stipe family brought home Maverick when he was just a month old to help out their beloved pet, 11-year-old Charlie. Charlie lost his eyesight due to glaucoma in 2016.
When they brought Maverick home, the two didn’t immediately get along, but after a few months, Charlie began relying on Maverick for help for everything, including walking, playing, and eating.
A dog and a firefighter helped each other escape from ice and freezing water in Colorado.
- South Metro Fire Rescue/Twitter
When Bri the dog ended up stranded in the middle of a semi-frozen pond in Colorado in January, a South Metro Fire Rescue firefighter went out to rescue her from the ice.
But when she was pulled from the ice, she decided to return the favor. In a video shared by the fire department, she turned around and tried to drag her rescuer to safety as well. Thankfully, both pup and firefighter made it back to land.
When a Texas man accidentally injured himself with a chainsaw, his dog heard his cries for help.
- NBC 12
In October, Johnny McKnight of Wichita Falls, Texas, told NBC12 that his 1-year-old dog, Rambo, saved his life after he cut himself with a chainsaw. “The saw that I was using, I don’t know how it got me,” he told the station.
Rambo heard McKnight’s cries for help and, at first, tried to get his owner to stand up, but when that didn’t work, he dragged him outside. Rambo made it all the way to the front porch before he started barking to get McKnight’s wife’s attention.
“The dogs were really barking like I never heard them bark before. It was really strange,” Althea McKnight told NBC12.
“I was blessed to have that dog. I just feel, I had to cry in my soul because that dog did, he saved me. He saved me,” her husband added.