When Gregory Gould adopted a dog from his friend's neighbor, he thought he was getting a companion, not a savior. However, a savior is exactly what border collie/pointer mix Snickers became when he helped alert police after his owner had collapsed.
Snickers is being honored as one of four 2013 inductees to the Purina Animal Hall of Fame, a list of pets and service animals that have saved human lives.
According to website Mississauga, the dog was found pacing and barking frantically outside a neighbor's house in Oshawa, Ontario in March 2012. Police concluded that the dog lived next door and decided to check out the house. Upon arriving at Gould's residence, Constable Rob Garnett peered in a window and saw a man's legs on the floor, according to Snickers' Purina Hall of Fame profile. Garnett and his partner broke down the door and were able to bring Gould to a hospital. The man suffers from chronic chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and had collapsed when the air machine he relies on stopped working properly.
Even more incredible is the fact that Snickers had been locked in when his owner collapsed. Garnett found the glass on the back door of the house shattered and its latch triggered, leading him to conclude that Snickers had repeatedly slammed his body into the door until it broke. The dog also broke through a fence in the backyard in order to reach the street.
"My father has always rescued animals," Gregory's son Jeff Gould told Mississauga. "It was his turn to be rescued."
Though memorable for his determination and physical will, Snickers is far from alone in proving the old adage that dogs are man's best friend. Another of the pets honored by Purina this year, a 12-year-old Labrador mix named Vicious, fought off a cougar that had pounced on its owner in Trail, British Columbia, according to Durham Region.