A dog owner is crediting his "loyal and loving" pet for rescuing his life after he suffered a stroke.
Brian Myers adopted the dog, a 6-year-old rescued German shepherd named Sadie, a few months ago from the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge in New Jersey, the shelter wrote in a Facebook post.
Sadie had been surrendered to the shelter by her previous owner when he moved, and she was nervous around new people, especially men, according to the shelter. But Myers "felt a special bond with Sadie" and decided to give her a new home.
It turned out to be a life-saving decision.
Myers suffered a stroke last week while home alone with Sadie, according to the animal shelter. Sadie kept Myers awake by licking his face, and then dragged him across the room to his phone, which he was able to use to call for help.
"Sadie’s bio noted, ‘As is common to her breed, she is loyal and loving with her chosen people,’" the shelter wrote on Facebook. "No one could agree more than Brian, who is alive today thanks to Sadie’s devotion and quick thinking."
Even the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals praised Sadie, saying it was honoring her with its Heroic Dog Award.
"She is my hero, and I love her to death," Myers said in a statement provided by PETA. "I don’t know what I would have done if she hadn’t been there."
Sadie is staying with Myers’ family while he recovers in a rehab facility, but they still FaceTime together every night, according to the shelter.
"Sadie’s intelligence and tenacity saved Brian’s life," Colleen O’Brien, vice president of PETA, said in a written statement. "Her heroism reminds us that many loving, dedicated dogs are waiting in shelters for a family to join, and PETA encourages anyone with the ability and resources to care for an animal to adopt one from a local shelter."