Most people will agree that dogs are smart and, even if they aren’t a service dog leading the blind or warning their owners if they are about to have a seizure, any dog can save a family’s life. This is exactly what happened with Greta, a German Sheppard rescue.
Five-year-old Greta took awhile to be adopted because she had some problems in the past, but she did eventually find the right forever home with a family in Delaware that also had four other dogs. Ken Walsh, Greta’s owner helped work through the issues she was having since he’s a dog trainer. Now Greta is a much better behaved dog.
Luckily for the Walsh family, dogs don’t always sleep when humans do. One night, after the family went to sleep, the dogs were playing downstairs. One of the four dogs was going to jump on the kitchen counter and an unfortunate accident was about to happen. The dog’s leg was caught on the line that connects the propane tank outside to the gas stove. While the dog wasn’t injured during this accident, propane started to leak out into the air that the family and the dogs were breathing. If breathing in too much propane, both humans and dogs can die.
The dogs didn’t know exactly what was happening, but they could figure out something wasn’t good. When the propane started to smell stronger, Greta started barking. She didn’t stop barking until her owners came to see if something was wrong. Immediately as he was going to go downstairs, Ken smelled the propane and was able to quickly reattach the disconnected propane line. By the time Walsh got downstairs, the propane had already filled several rooms and could have been much more dangerous if it continued to fill the house. The entire family was able to be saved thanks to Greta’s barking. In honor of saving the family, Great was rewarded with sweet potatoes and a steak.
While it’s not hard to smell propane and humans can smell it, dogs have a much more incredible sense of smell. Dogs possess up to 300 million receptors in their noses and humans only have about six million. More of a dog’s brain is devoted to analyzing smells. There is a reason why so many dogs are used as service animals to help humans with daily life. There are plenty of stories where dogs are credited for saving the lives of their owners. Oftentimes it’s rescue dogs that also save their owners. In 2007, days after just being adopted from a shelter, a Doberman Pinscher saved a toddler from a deadly snake. When the dog saw that the snake was about to bite the toddler, the dog quickly pushed the toddler out of the way and instead got bitten but made a full recovery. Another story involves a foster dog that alerted his owner that the child in the house wasn’t breathing or waking up. The child had low blood sugar and was taken to the emergency room and survived thanks to the quick thinking of the dog. A third story involves a 12-year-old pit bull that took a bullet to the head in order to save his owners during a home invasion and robbery. The dog survived and after three days was even up going for walks, showing how resilient dogs can be. While Greta’s story is heroic, it certainly won’t be the last time a dog is credited with saving a family’s life.