A wheelchair bound Florida man credits his dog with helping to save him when he fell into a pond. While out walking his beagle mix, Sarah, last week, 81-year-old Harry Smith took a spill from his wheelchair and slid down an embankment into a retention pond. The Port St Lucie octogenarian doesn’t have the use of his legs, so he wasn’t able to get himself out of the water. But Sarah was right there by his side, splashing up and down in the water and barking loudly.
Working nearby, Edward Suhling, 58, and Aby “Jacob” Chacko, 49, heard Sarah’s barking and ran to see what was the matter. “The dog was splashing in the water,” Suhling says. “So we both ran over here and I jumped in the water, and my buddy grabbed his arms and I grabbed his legs and we got him up on shore.” While they were working to get Smith out of the water, Port St Lucie Police Officer Adam Doty came down to help. Chacko says it took all three of them to get Smith on dry land.
Suhling could tell that Smith was relieved to see them. “You could just see it in his face,” Suhling recalls. “He thought he was dying.” But he says the one most responsible for rescuing Smith is Sarah. Although Smith says he was yelling while he was up to his neck in the pond, Suhling only heard Sarah’s barking and says, “The dog was a real hero.”
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