Dorothy Davidson is very fortunate to have Spirit, a golden retriever cross, by her side. Davidson suffers from lateral sclerosis, a disease in the same family as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and requires her to use a walker to get around. When she fell down andbecame stuck, it was Spirit who came to her rescue by going to the special phone Davidson has for her and tapping the button to call for help. “I fell in the bathroom, I was just weak but when I got down on the floor I couldn’t get back up and I couldn’t reach the phone,” said Davidson.
Spirit was specially trained by a non profit group in Florida called Dogs For Life. The organization trains all types of dogs to help people suffering from physical disabilities and even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as in the case of a pug who was paired with retired military police officer James Taylor who has PTSD. ‘If I’m out in like Walmart or somewhere I give her a go out command and she’ll actually circle around me to keep the people three and four feet away from me,’ owner James Taylor said of his tiny dog.
As well, the dogs are trained to alert their owners to such things as doorbells, ringing phones, and smoke detectors. In Davidson’s case, one of Spirit’s main tasks is to pick things up for her. Spirit and Davidson have been together since since Spirit was a puppy and says Davidson, “in my estimation, yes, she is a hero.”