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A 78-year-old disabled woman in Sylva, NC was saved recently because her dog “Spirit” dialed 9-1-1. Dorothy Davidson had fallen in the bathroom and called for her dog, and Spirit dialed for her. This was reported in a special report on local ABC affiliate TV station WLOS.
Spirit is a specially trained Golden Retriever mix trained by the Dogs For Life organization in Florida. One of the things they train certain dogs to do is activate an “Able Phone” when necessary. The specially designed phone has a large white button on a black box which the dog can push, making the call. A pre-recorded message is delivered, and a speakerphone is activated in case the owner is within talking distance.
Many of you may know about this special type of telephone already, but I had never heard of one until I saw it on the local news last night. Obviously, a great idea.
Davidson has a neurological disorder called Primary Lateral Sclerosis, which is similar to Lou Gehrig’s Disease, but fortunately it is not fatal.
Besides providing companionship, Spirit also picks up things that Donaldson drops, hands her the phone when it rings, and will retrieve just about anything she needs.
It’s truly amazing what service dogs can do.