It didn’t take long for former pound pup Sadie, a German Shepherd whose life was saved in September by Brian Myers of Teaneck, N.J., to pay it forward. When her new dog dad had a stroke last month, Sadie helped to save his life.
After Myers, who lives alone, collapsed on the floor in the middle of the night, Sadie lied down beside him, whimpering and licking his face to help keep him awake. Myers grabbed her collar.
“She instinctively started to pull backwards,” he told NBC New York. “That was enough to enable me to shuffle with her out of where I was.” With Sadie’s help, he was able to stand up and get to a phone to call for help.
“I don’t know how she knew to do it, but that she was able to pull me the way she did, I was so grateful to her,” Myers added. If Sadie hadn’t taken action, he said, “I may as well have been worse off than I am right now.”
It’s also pretty amazing that 6-year-old Sadie was adopted at all. The German Shepherd had been surrendered to the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge in Oakland, N.J., when her owner had to relocate to a property that didn’t allow certain dog breeds. (Grrr! Yet another reason why breed bans are so unfair.)
“She was confused and seemingly lost upon rescue, having suddenly lost the only family that she knew,” the shelter wrote on its Facebook page. “Sadie is a loyal dog, but nervous and protective with new people, making her a more difficult placement.” The shelter also noted that Sadie was “especially nervous with men.”
But the night that Myers brought Sadie to her new forever home, “she jumped up and put her paws on my shoulders and gave me a kiss on the face,” he told TODAY. “And it just seemed to me that she was saying, ‘Thank you for rescuing me.’”
“To us, Brian’s a hero because he saved Sadie,” Megan Brinster, a staff member at the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge, told NBC New York. “And now Sadie saved him, so it’s like the most incredible match.”
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When Myers had COVID-19 and was confined to bed, Sadie loyally stayed by his side as he recovered. He told TODAY the virus may have caused him to develop a blood clot, which led to the stroke. He is currently recovering in a rehabilitation facility while Sadie is temporarily staying with his brother. Myers told NBC New York he misses his hero dog every day.
“I can’t wait to see her and give her a hug and a kiss and I’ll probably cry my eyes out doing so,” he said. According to the shelter, Myers and Sadie “FaceTime every night.” Awww!
Myers has a very important message for anyone thinking about adopting a shelter pet: “There are many other dogs there, waiting to be somebody’s hero,” he told NBC New York.
Update: Myers and his hero dog were reunited on Feb. 9 outside his rehabilitation facility. Here’s the video. (Tissue alert!!)
To help the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge care for more potential hero dogs, you can make an online donation.