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Hero Dog Shelby

Shelby enjoying herself after saving her family.

After a long day of baking holiday cookies, John and Janet Walderbach of Ely, Iowa headed to bed. They had two friend's children, who were visiting, spending the night also. Barely asleep, the Walderbachs were awakened by the children who were complaining about a headache and an upset stomach. While rocking the younger child, Janet soon passed out. She was revived by 7-year-old Shelby, a German Shepherd Dog, who was nudging her. Shelby went to awaken John, who thought she just needed a trip outside.

As John and Janet began to move, they too discovered that they were sick just like the children. Putting Shelby outdoors, she continued to act very anxious and began to bark incessantly. Shelby would not stop whining and scratching at the door. She never stopped until John, Janet and the two children were safely outside of the home.

At the hospital, it was determined that the German Shepherd had alerted the family to dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide in the home. They were treated in hyperbolic chambers, which safely eliminated the carbon monoxide from their systems. Shelby survived as well and was hailed as a hero. Doctors determined that the level of carbon monoxide in their home was enough to cause death or severe long-term damage to their bodies.

Shelby was named the Skippy Dog Hero of the Year. As the winner, she received a $500 award, a year's supply of dog food and an engraved Skippy Dog Hero food bowl.