compiled by Amanda Henry
Four-legged heroes like Lassie and Rin Tin Tin have earned their rightful place in our collective admiration just as much as human superheroes. Now Ladue News has given readers an opportunity to share their own amazing pet tales. How often have we heard of pets saving their masters from fire or other dangers? And let’s not overlook the most important thing they do: provide unflinching solace, acceptance and companionship to everyone in the household. Two lucky LN pet lovers will be chosen at random to receive a photo package from Lil’ Pals Pet Photography and a gift certificate to Happy Dog Spot doggie day care. For more Pet Tales, visit laduenews.com.
Kerry and Ginger: The Dimit Family
Several years ago, the house next door sold and remained vacant throughout the winter and spring. By April, the cover on the swimming pool was full of water. One chilly day, my children and I were playing in the yard with our two dogs, Ginger, a black and white water spaniel/border collie mix from the Humane Society, and Kerry, a West Highland white terrier. One of the children needed my attention, so I didn’t notice that Kerry had escaped from our fenced yard. A few minutes later, Ginger began barking. She would come toward me, bark and run away a few steps. She kept repeating this and after several minutes, I finally thought, “What is this crazy dog doing? She never acts like this.” Finally I thought, “Maybe she wants me to follow her.” So I started to walk toward her and she took off like a jet.
We ran across the yard to the neighbor’s pool. Kerry had squeezed through the wrought iron fence around the pool and fallen into the icy water on the pool cover. He was desperately treading water and trying to get out, getting more and more chilled. Every time he reached the side, he would slide back down the pool cover and farther into the middle where the water was deeper. I tried to reach out to get him, but my arm wasn’t long enough. Ginger ran along the pool deck, barking and barking and truly hysterical. Suddenly, she took a few steps back, made a running jump into the water and paddled out to Kerry. She then started to push him toward me. I was able to pull both of them out.
Several years earlier Ginger was hit by a delivery truck in our driveway and had pins in her leg and hip, so running was not easy for her. I cannot imagine how much it hurt her to jump into the freezing water to save Kerry! Ginger and Kerry lived for several more years, and they are both buried on our property in graves marked by special trees planted in their memory.
Jumping Jack Logan: Betty May
Jumping Jack Logan is a long-haired miniature Dachshund, now 8 years old. When he was about 2, I came home from work one evening and sat on the couch with him as usual. I suddenly started having a cold chill. I managed to get to the bedroom and crawl under the covers. Logan got on top of me and stretched his little body out as far as he could to cover me and stayed there until I stopped shaking. He then lay beside me as he usually did. He’s my very loving friend.
Royal Remington…Remi: Judy and Paul Taxman
We got Royal Remington, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, seven years ago. Like most puppies, he had to learn right from wrong, where his place for eating was, where he slept and where he went potty. By now, he knows all the rules and our routines. We feed him, let him out, love him and make sure he is groomed. He follows us and amuses us daily. But just this month, I realized how loyal Remi truly is. I became very ill with a terrible flu bug and needed bed rest for almost two weeks. From the first fever to the last day in bed, Remi stayed by my side all day long. He didn’t ‘ask’ to go out or beg for treats or chase the squirrels off our deck. He didn’t bark when the doorbell rang or run to the back door to meet my husband. He just lay by my side and was there for me. I call that loyalty beyond the call of duty.
Paddy and Lilly: Pam and Peter Mahoney
At the tender age of nine weeks on the night before Thanksgiving, Lilly, our boxer, nearly met her maker. Unknown to my husband Peter and me, Lilly managed to crawl under our deck and fall into a cistern that had been only partially covered. Neither Peter nor I would have known of the disaster had it not been for our son, Liam, who walked outside to check on Lilly, only to hear splashing. Peter realized the catastrophe and climbed under the deck with a flashlight. Sure enough, two frightened eyes looked up at him. As all good ‘fathers’ would, he promptly jumped into the cistern in an attempt to save the cold and frightened puppy. Peter handed Lilly up to Liam, and we immediately jumped in his Jeep and drove to our local animal hospital. It was only while in the emergency room that I realized we had left my dear husband in the cistern! All’s well that ended well, although at the time, I honestly don’t know who was the most upset, the two-legged family member or the four! Needless to say, when Thanksgiving arrives each year, there is always a special toast offered at our family table.
Millie: Ron and Anne Henges
Millie, a shepherd/collie stray and beloved pet, was found on Creve Coeur Mill Road after being hit by a car. We took her in, and after several surgeries and months of rehab, Millie came home to live with us near St. Luke’s Hospital. She quickly became part of the family, adapting well to her new surroundings and the family cat. When our daughter and son-in-law moved into a home off Mason Road, they were quite shocked to see Millie at their back door the very first morning after moving in. We had let her out that morning and instead of returning in a few minutes, as usual, she headed over to our daughter’s. This became her pattern for the next five years.
One weekend, we went out of town for a few days, and Millie was entrusted to a local kennel. Within a couple hours, we were notified that Millie had disappeared. Our three children mobilized and began searching the neighboring streets and distributing flyers. As we waited in the Denver airport, we knew that since she had disappeared on Friday, the chances of finding Millie were slim. But as our son returned from his search, he was amazed and shocked to see Millie lying in his front yard, exhausted. After giving her water and food, she was whisked off to the vet for a check-up and found to be in good shape.
Needless to say, it was quite a homecoming for both of us! No one will ever know how Millie managed to find her way and cross not only Manchester Road, but Interstate 270, as well! And most amazing of all, she ‘knew’ she was safe when she arrived at my son’s home. Millie passed away a few years back, but she will always be remembered as an amazing dog.
Mr. Tee and Minnie: Nellie McMiller
Mr. Tee and Minnie are both rescue cats from different places. When each of them came to live with me, it was a big job getting them to come out of hiding to eat. They were afraid of everything! Now they are able to eat together. My cats are very special to me. I often get migraine headaches and am in bed for days. During this time, both cats will sleep very close to me. Mr. Tee always sleeps on the right and Minnie on the left. I don’t know how they made this arrangement! When I am feeling well, they sleep all over the house, but if I have a migraine, they are on duty in their designated spots. I must admit, I love having them with me when I’m sick.
Shanti: The Alt Family
When Shanti was 5 months old, Rich and I sent our two children to his sister’s house for the weekend while he and I built a stone fireplace in our sunroom. Sometime late in the afternoon, I went into the kitchen for a break and a glass of water. As I stood at the sink drinking my water, I felt something drop on my foot. I looked down to see my son’s favorite baseball cap, which he had forgotten to take with him. Shanti sat inches away with her tail wagging, looking back and forth from the hat to me as if to say, “I think the kids are missing!” My response to her was, “Who are you? Lassie?” Little did I know that she would turn out to be!
Two summers ago we went on a family camp-out to Sam Baker State Park. It was late and the kids and I had already retired to the camper for the evening. Rich decided to take Shanti on one last short walk, just beyond the safety of our well-lit campsite. Shanti abruptly started barking wildly and pulling on the leash. Rich quickly turned his flashlight to see a copperhead snake coiled up at the base of a tree, just steps away from him! He stopped, then quickly pulled Shanti back before the snake could strike. He realized that Shanti saved his life, and then he saved hers.