While Upper Hutt, New Zealand resident Linda Fowler was out jogging near a dam early one morning with her two Staffordshire Bull Terriers, she never expected her venture to turn into a life-saving mission. Her pets, Amba and Bugsy, veered off their normal track and would not follow her. “I kept calling them, but they wouldn’t come. They just stayed,” explains Fowler. She went to investigate, she found a women lying on the rocks below.
The woman was wet from the spray of the dam, yellow from hypothermia and bleeding from her head. The woman kept mumbling to Flowler, “who are you? Where am I? What’s happening?” As the two SBTs kept a watchful eye, Fowler ran for help.
According to Police Sergeant Allister Rose, the woman had been reported missing by a friend on the day before. Police had been waiting for more information when the news filtered through that she had been found.
Although rescue workers said that overnight temperatures had dropped to 59 degrees, drizzle and rain before dawn would have made it feel even cooler. “She had been lying virtually under a waterfall all night. It’s extremely lucky that she didn’t perish and that the dogs found her when they did.”
For their heroic deed, the two dogs have been jointly named Life Saving Dog of the Year by the New Zealand Kennel Club. The three were honored at the Club’s national dog show in October. Fowler was awarded a sash and the dogs received a year’s supply of biscuits. “I was absolutely rapt. It has saved me loads of money. I won’t have to send them out to work now,” she joked.