Taylor and Madison – two dogs, best friends and my heros

I was reading stories of dogs rescuing people and I was reminded of the time I had my own experiences with my dogs alerting me to dangers and rescuing me from a nasty fall.
Madison who is now nearly thirteen years old managed to alert me to danger.
I had come home from work, exhausted and desperate for couch time. Finally I made my way to the couch, laid down, opened my book and started reading.
At the time Leroy and Madison were asleep on their beds and all seemed very peaceful and relaxing when Madison got up from her bed and started to nudge me. I thought she wanted a pat, which I gave her, took off her dog collar and continued reading. Again Madison nudged me this time a little more forcefully and again I just patted her but did not look up from my book. A moment later she nudged me so hard that the book fell out of my hands. I looked at Madison about to reprimand her for being so demanding but as I was about to speak I saw the biggest White Tailed Spider only centimeters away from my bare legs on the couch. I looked at Madison and her eyes screamed at me to move. Which I did at a rapid pace.
I had no idea there was a spider let alone one that was so close to me and they are not the sort of spiders some one wants close to them. They are a particularly nasty spider which is known for delivering a horrible bite which can ulcerate.
It was very unusual behaviour for Madison to be so pushy and demanding. I will never forget the look in her eyes trying to gain my attention. I am sure she saved me from a nasty spider experience. I didn’t feel comfortable on the couch for days after that close encounter.

My first dog Taylor was only a few months old when he alerted me to a smoldering fire in the living room. I had been busy in the kitchen when he began barking and barking. Firstly I just yelled for him to be quiet but his barking was relentless. Angrily I stomped down the hall only to find a room full of smoke and a cushion from the couch smoldering on top of the heater about to ignite. I was quickly able to extinguish the smoldering cushion but hate to think what would have happened if Taylor had not alerted me to the situation. He was only a young pup but he had known something was wrong.

Quite a few years later I was sitting watching T.V with Taylor dozing at my feet, suddenly Taylor sprang up and raced down the house towards the front door. I heard the front door slam and then I could see someone running up the street away from the house. I realised I had forgotten to lock the front screen and an intruder had entered my house unbeknown to me but Taylor had heard them and went straight into protection mode. Again I dread the thought of what would have happened had Taylor not been by my side.

The third time Taylor came to my rescue was when I was bush walking. I had decided to go on quite a big bush walk which explored historical sites in my local area. At that time I was living in the Adelaide Hills so I started my journey from home with Taylor on the lead. I had been walking for only thirty minutes or so and I had let Taylor off the lead and he was happily exploring the gully ahead of me. He was quite some distance from me when suddenly I slipped and fell straight onto my knee. The pain was rather shocking and took my breath away. Taylor was instantly at my side, it was like one second he was three hundred meters away and then whoosh right there next to me and in fact I was still in the process of completing my fall when he was suddenly by my side. A wet nudging nose on my face as I gripped my knee. It suddenly dawned on me that although I was not far from home I was a long way from home with a knee that I didn’t think I could stand on. It was as if Taylor knew I had to get to my feet and he had to help me out of there back to home. I gingerly attempted to get up off the ground and I found that Taylor was leaning into me quite heavily, at first I had no idea what he was doing and then I realised he was allowing me to lean on him to get up. I pushed myself up with my good leg and leaned on Taylor to get to a standing position. Taylor didn’t budge he stayed by my side and as I tentatively put some weight onto my knee. It really hurt but I could weight bare a little on it and I was just able hobble back up the hill and head for home. Taylor stuck to me like glue and offered his support by taking some of my weight when I had to climb back through the rocks. The journey back home took nearly two hours as I had to stop several times to rest. He never left my side, he knew I was hurt. Taylor had never been trained to assist me. I had just trained him like a normal dog with the general sit, stand and stay commands, nothing out of the ordinary just everyday dog training.
My knee eventually got better but I will never forget the help Taylor had given me and again without him my walk home would have been much more difficult.
What an amazing dog he was a great friend and protector. Unfortunately Taylor passed away in 2007 leaving Madison and us very broken hearted. He’s big smile always live in our hearts.

There are numerous stories of extraordinary feats dogs have done to save people. I have experienced first hand their protective and nurturing natures and I truly believe there is more to dogs than we know.