Service dogs are trained to help their human charges with whatever he or she may need. For those suffering with PTSD, the dogs wake them from nightmares and provide lots of support. For the wheelchair-bound, these dogs bring the humans the items they need. When the human is blind, the dogs are the human’s eyes, guiding him or her safely about the world. Seeing-eye dogs know when cars are coming and stop their person from crossing the street. Sometimes, though, a seemingly clear street to walk across isn’t quite so clear.
In Brewster, New York, a mini school bus was headed right for Audrey Stone, a blind woman who had her trusty service dog, Figo, with her, USA Today reports. The Golden Retriever’s training and instincts must have kicked in full force because witnesses say he leapt in front of the oncoming bus, taking the brunt of the strike for Stone.
USA Today reports that some of Figo’s fur was stuck to the bus where he was struck; his leg was reportedly cut through to the bone. Stone’s injuries consisted of a cut to her head, three broken ribs, a fractured ankle and a fractured elbow. The school bus driver reportedly did not see the 62-year-old and her guide dog. A Brewster police chief said that Stone and Figo were approximately in the middle of the road when the bus driver struck them, hypothesizing that the driver’s eyes were focused on opposing traffic. The driver was cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian, USA Today reports.
Figo’s leg was bandaged at the scene by EMTs and Paul Schwartz, the manager of a gas station residing at the intersection where the accident occurred.
“There were 15 EMTs and people all around her and the dog didn’t want to leave her side,” Schwartz said, according to USA Today. “He was flopping over to her and she didn’t want him to get away from her, either. She kept screaming, ‘Where’s Figo? Where’s Figo? Where’s Figo?’ We kept telling her he was fine. The dog was being a good sport, really calm. He sat with me the whole time. He was limping as we put him on a big blanket on the sidewalk and it started to rain. He let us wrap up his leg without any problem. He wasn’t barking or crying or yelping. But he kept pulling toward her. After she was put on a gurney and taken away, he stopped doing that. He seemed a little lost after she left.”
Even though service dogs can ride with their humans in ambulances, the two were separated so that both could receive proper care. Figo is currently at Middlebranch Veterinary where he will have surgery on his leg and Stone is receiving treatment at Danbury Hospital, lohud reports.
Hopefully the two will be reunited soon.
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