“[I] will never forget her loyalty and heroism on a very scary night.”
When Brian Myers saved a shelter dog’s life in September, he never expected her to return the favor.
Last summer, a 6-year-old German shepherd named Sadie was surrendered to the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge in New Jersey. At the shelter, the older dog seemed confused and lost.
The shelter staff could tell Sadie was a loyal and fiercely intelligent dog, but her nervousness around men and protective nature made it difficult to place her in a new home.
“[She was] a little standoffish when she first came and she wasn’t sure what was going on,” Heather Centrella, the front office manager at Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge, told The Dodo. “She became a little bit shut-down in the shelter, so we knew she was going to need an experienced home with someone who was patient.”
A month later, Brian Myers walked into the shelter and immediately noticed Sadie. After learning she had issues with men, he vowed to change that.
“I sensed that she was a great dog and I decided to adopt her in the first 30 minutes,” Myers wrote on Facebook. “She jumped into my car and we’ve developed a strong bond. I was able to work through the issues she had and committed to giving her the home and love she deserved.”
Myers and Sadie became best friends and incredibly attached. But, a few months later, Sadie nearly lost her family for the second time.
One night, Myers and Sadie were home alone when he suffered a stroke. Myers collapsed on the ground and, seeing her dad in pain, Sadie refused to leave his side. She licked his face to keep him awake and cried out to alert the neighborhood that something was very wrong.
Myers couldn’t stand, so Sadie knew it was up to her to get her dad to safety. Myers grabbed onto Sadie’s collar, and the loyal dog knew just what to do — and began to pull him across the room to his phone.
“She knew that I was in trouble and was distressed,” Myers said. “I took ahold of her collar and she knew to assist me in getting the help I needed. [She] began to pull with all of her strength. With her help, I was able to move across the floor to get my phone.”
Myers is now out of the hospital and in a rehab center, where he is working on getting better. While her dad is away, Sadie is staying with his family and counting down the minutes until she can see him again.
“They do FaceTime, which he said she’s a little confused by because she wants to get at her dad and she cries,” Centrella said. “But he reassures her that he’s doing everything he can to get home to her as soon as possible so they can be reunited.”
Myers hopes that sharing his story will help others realize just how incredible shelter dogs can be. He never gave up on Sadie and, in his darkest hour, she refused to give up on him.
“I miss her terribly and can’t wait to see her and love her even more than I already have,” Myers said. “I promise to give her the best life she can have and will never forget her loyalty and heroism on a very scary night.”