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article imageThe 2010 inductees of the Purina Animal Hall of Fame Special

By KJ Mullins     May 3, 2010 in Lifestyle
Toronto - When we think of heroes, images of brave men and women come to mind but sometimes a hero walks on four paws. On Monday four pet heroes were inducted to the Purina Animal Hall of Fame in Toronto.
What is a hero? For the inductees of the Purina Hall of Fame they are members of families who saved the lives of their loved ones.
Take Gepetto of Wetaskiwin, Alberta, a eight-year-old orange ball of fur. His owner Phyllis Sjogren is alive today because of his loud wail, something that the cat is not known for.
Last December as a snowstorm brewed Phyllis woke in the middle of the night to a cold house. Turning up the thermostat she returned to bed putting in her ear plugs.
Phyllis woke to the sound of a loud wail. Getting up to see what was the matter with her beloved Gepetto she felt dizzy and sick to her stomach but pushed on. A headache worsened as she made her way downstairs to find the cat wailing at the basement door. Concerned and confused Phyllis called her husband Martin who told her to leave the house.
It was a good thing she did, the house was full of carbon monoxide. When she went to hospital she was suffering from stage two carbon monoxide poisoning-there are only three stages, stage three is death.
The home was filled to a level of 70 percent with the toxic clear gas, an hour after windows and doors had been left open. Martin showers love on Gepetto these days; his pet saved the love of his life.
Purina Animal Hall of Fame
Purina Animal Hall of Fame Gepetto
Purina Animal Hall of Fame
Purina Animal Hall of Fame Patty
Patty is another hero from Alberta. The Westlock, AB farm dog is a playful sort. She is a Heinz 37 according to her owner Kai Jensen, now 81. Last May without the help of Patty Kai would not still be alive.
It was a cool day when Patty and Kai went out to work on farm equipment with Kai's son Allan. Allan was about to leave the area when Patty came running. Following the frantic dog Allan came across his father laying under a 6,000 lb. air seeder. For 15 frightening minutes Allan and Patty waited by Kai's side for medical help.
Kai suffered numerous broken bones and organ damage. After a long hospital stay he no longer works the farm but he and Patty take long walks together. Patty rarely leaves his side.
Purina Animal Hall of Fame
Purina Animal Hall of Fame Bingo
Some dogs are trained for service. Bingo is unusual, a ten-year-old Jack Russell Terrier she tends to Cole Hein of Shilo, Manitoba. Cole was born with a life-threatening condition that causes him to retch and stop breathing. The problem can happen at any time. As a result Cole requires 24-hour care.
Bingo was trained to alert the family when Cole starts to retch. That alert allows the eight-year-old a more normal life.
With Bingo looking over Cole the family has regained a sense of peace. For a child who was never supposed to survive Bingo is his everyday miracle hero.
Purina Animal Hall of Fame
Purina Animal Hall of Fame Chance
Chance, a Dalmatian/Fox Terrier mix from South Bar, Nova Scotia, is famous for his heart wrenching tale. Last December Chance followed young James Delorey, 7, into the woods as a snow storm loomed a day away. James was severely autistic, unable to talk. He was known for wandering off but in the past had been found quickly.
That was not the case in December. A massive search began for the little boy who wasn't even wearing a jacket, mitts or a cap when he disappeared. For two days the town of South Bar searched. James' mother Veronica had faith-Chance was with her boy. She knew Chance would never leave him unless there was no hope.
The third day Chance appeared. Rescue workers quickly found the little boy by following Chance's footprints. James was unconscious and suffering from severe hypothermia. Sadly he passed away from his ordeal.
Veronica is comforted by the fact that James was never alone. Rescuers saw where Chance has laid next to James, giving him warmth in the cold days that he was in the wild. Veronica believes that without Chance the family would have never been able to say there final goodbyes to dear little James.
This year's inductees were selected from hundreds of nominations based on their loyalty and intelligence.
More about Dogs, Purina animal hall fame, Chance
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