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Human Interest

Service Dog Leaps in Front of Bus to Protect Blind Owner

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Sorry, cats, but maybe the expression should be “dog-like” reflexes.

When a mini school bus driving kindergartners to school on Monday morning headed towards Audrey Stone, Figo – a blind woman’s service golden retriever – knew he needed to act quickly to protect her. The pup threw himself at the bus’s wheels to slow its impact, bringing the vehicle to a halt after hitting the two of them.

“I don’t know if [the driver] thought [Stone] was going to move faster, but it looks like the dog tried to take most of the hit for her,” Paul Schwartz, a manager at a gas station by the intersection where the incident occurred, told the Journal News.

When Schwartz arrived at the scene, Stone was bleeding from the head and suffered a fractured right elbow, broken ribs and a fractured ankle.

“There were 15 EMTs and people all around her and the dog didn’t want to leave her,” Schwartz said of the golden retriever, whose leg was cut to the bone. “He was flopping over to her and she didn’t want him to get away from her either. She kept screaming, ‘Where’s [Bigo]? Where’s [Bigo]? Where’s [Bigo]?’ We kept telling her he was fine.”

An employee at a veterinary center where Figo, who witnesses on the scene referred to as “Bigo,” is being treated said the dog is undergoing surgery on its leg.

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