UPDATE: Service Dog Throws Himself In Front Of A Bus To Protect His Blind Human
June 8, 2015
Hooray! Figo the heroic Golden Retriever has finally reunited with his human, Audrey Stone, after their harrowing experience last June left them both in serious condition.
The two spent nearly four months of recovery apart, and will now be reevaluated to ensure that Figo is equipped to continue his work as Stone's service dog.
"I told him he's home, so he knows he's home," Stone told CBS New York, and it doesn't seem like Figo could be any happier. Paul Schwartz, who originally arrived at the scene of the accident to offer help, says "The dog didn't want to leave her side. He was flopping over to her, and she didn't want him to get away from her, either."
But Figo was not allowed inside the ambulance, and so the two unwillingly parted ways.
This golden hero has since won the ASPCA's Dog of the Year Award for his faithful service, and seems to want nothing more than to get back on the job.
We're so happy you're home, Figo! Keep up the good work!
In more good news in the inspiring story of Figo, the service dog who threw himself in front of a bus to protect his blind human, an anonymous benefactor has paid the pup's entire vet bill!
According to The Journal News, who talked to Dr. Angela O'Donnell (the vet overseeing Figo's care), it is one kind person has settled the medical expenses for Figo:
"There are extraneous websites that are trying to raise money, but it's my understanding the bill has been seen to by one donor."
Fortunately, Figo seems to be well on the road to recovery, though he refuses to wear the cone of shame. "He's a good boy and he's leaving his bandage alone," Dr. O'Donnell told The Journal. "That points to the strides he's making. If it was bothering him more, he probably would be chewing at it."
When Figo will reunite with his human Audrey Stone is still dependent on Stone's recovery, though he may have to be rehomed eventually. Technically, the Guide Dog Foundation based in Smithtown are Figo's legal owners. Andrew Rubinstein, the Foundation's marketing director, explained further:
"Once they're well enough, the work of the team will be assessed by one of our certified trainers. Is Figo a little timid around traffic? Is he scared to be around traffic? Or is he ready to go back full-time? If the dog is a little timid, we'd talk with Audrey about maybe retiring Figo and maybe coming back to the foundation to get a new dog. Or if the dog feels good and works well in traffic and doing their typical routes, they might need a refresher to get all their skills fine-tuned again.
Physically, if he bounces back 100 percent, that's one thing. But being able to go back to work and to provide the care he provides for Audrey - navigating obstacles and working with traffic and the avoidance of traffic - there's a good deal of assessment that goes into putting a guide-dog team out to travel. Safety is the number one thing everywhere. We want to make sure the handler and the dog are safe, no matter what they're doing."
The Foundation has field representatives that give a lifetime of support for guide and service dogs.
We trust everyone to do the right thing for Stone and Figo! Either way, we wish both a full and speedy recovery!
Figo the service dog and his human, Audrey Stone, are both recovering nicely!
Stone recently spoke to WFSB Connecticut about the 8-year-old Golden Retriever to day that he's giving her motivation to recover as quickly as she can:
"I thank him. I thank God that I have him and that he survived too, and I love him... I want to get home to my dog."
Figo the service dog deserves a medal for his courage!
Audrey Stone, who is blind, was crossing the street in Brewster, New York when her dog Figo saw a mini-school bus coming. The bus wasn't stopping, and his human was in danger, so Figo threw himself in front of the vehicle to protect her.
According to USA Today, Brewster Chief of Police John Del Gardo had nothing but admiration for the pup:
"The dog took a lot of the blow. And he did not want to leave her side. He stood right with her. He was there to save her."
Fortunately, both Figo and Stone survived the encounter. Though Stone suffered multiple fractures and Figo needed to undergo surgery on his broken leg, both are recovering.