Kathie Vaughan was driving the used truck she had purchased that morning when it suddenly began to fishtail. She finally managed to bring the vehicle to a stop with a loud screech. But her troubles had just begun. The cabin interior was filling fast with noxious fumes and black smoke. Most people could have simply jumped out of the vehicle, but Kathie is a paraplegic–paralyzed from the waist down by multiple sclerosis. Her truck was on fire and she knew she could be blown up at any moment. Kathie shoved her Rottweiler Eve out the door, along with her wheelchair. But due to the thick black smoke, she could not find the wheels to the chair.
A throbbing panic overwhelmed her. She had to get out immediately, before the truck exploded. That’s when Eve, her dog, proved herself to be a true hero. Read the rest of the story here:
In danger of blacking out, Kathie suddenly felt Eve, refusing to desert her, grab her leg with her jaws. Eve firmly grasped Kathie by the ankle and dragged her ten feet to relative safety. Then the truck burst into flames. Ignoring the terrifying fire, Eve dragged Kathie to a nearby ditch.
A police car arrived on the scene. “You’ve got to get further away!” the policeman shouted to Kathie. The truck was on fire, the flames were approaching the gas tank; there was danger of a terrific explosion.
Kathie struggled to pull herself away from the truck and toward the police car. Her head and body ached with pain and she found she could hardly move. Eve bent close to her human friend, offering Kathie her collar. Then Kathie held tight as the determined dog dragged her forty feet to safety.
The firemen eventually extinguished the blaze. And Eve was awarded the prestigious Stillman Award for bravery.
Adapted from Animal Angels, by Stephanie Laland (Conari Press, 1998). Copyright (c) 1998 by Stephanie Laland. Reprinted by permission of Conari Press.
Adapted from Animal Angels, by Stephanie Laland (Conari Press, 1998).