Brave Service Dog Throws Himself In Front Of Oncoming Bus To Protect Blind Owner

An incredibly brave and apparently prescient service dog in New York state took an instinctive leap in front of an oncoming school bus to prevent his owner from being hit. Never has “man’s best friend” resonated more than this story of Figo, a golden retriever guide dog, and his owner, Audrey Stone.

All the feels.

From USA Today:

When Figo the service dog saw an oncoming mini school bus heading for Audrey Stone, the blind woman he was trained to guide, the golden retriever’s protective instincts kicked in: He threw himself at the closest part of the vehicle he could.

Police photos show the result: fur stuck to the front driver’s side wheel and in the middle of Michael Neuner Avenue in New York, where the bus came to a stop after striking the pair.

The driver of the Brewster school bus, carrying two kindergartners to St. Lawrence O’Toole Childhood Learning Center, told police he didn’t see the pair crossing the road as they made their way home at about 8:15 Monday morning.

Stone, 62, suffered a fractured right elbow, three broken ribs, a fractured ankle and a cut to her head in the accident, said Brewster Police Chief John Del Gardo. Figo’s leg was cut down to the bone, said Paul Schwartz, who manages the Xtra Mart gas station at the intersection and ran to the scene to help.

But, if not for Figo’s incredibly commendable braveness, the consequences obviously could have been far worse.

“There were 15 EMTs and people all around her and the dog didn’t want to leave her side,” Schwartz said. “He was flopping over to her and she didn’t want him to get away from her, either. She kept screaming, ‘Where’s Figo? Where’s Figo? Where’s Figo?’ We kept telling her he was fine.”

Schwartz and one of the EMTs bandaged Figo’s right leg.

“The dog was being a good sport, really calm,” Schwartz said. “He sat with me the whole time. He was limping as we put him on a big blanket on the sidewalk and it started to rain. He let us wrap up his leg without any problem. He wasn’t barking or crying or yelping. But he kept pulling toward her. After she was put on a gurney and taken away, he stopped doing that. He seemed a little lost after she left.”

A staff member at Middlebranch Veterinary in Paterson confirmed that Figo was being treated there on Monday. Brewster Police Chief Del Gardo said later that the dog was undergoing surgery on its leg.

Because there are healthcare rules preventing animals from being transported in ambulances, Figo stayed behind at the scene.

God Bless this dog’s loyalty.

“The dog took a lot of the blow,” Del Gardo said. “And he did not want to leave her side. He stood right with her. He was there to save her.”

Figo and Audrey are set to reunite soon, thankfully.

What a great pup you must be, Figo. We sincerely hope you and Audrey get well soon.

[via USA Today]