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Jinty, The Shelti Hero

Ann Barford and her hearing dog Jinty.

Jinty, the beautiful Shetland Sheepdog, is a hero to all who know her. Jinty has been Ann Barford's hearing dog since 2000 and has come to the aid of Ann and others on several occasions.

The first time Jinty came to the rescue of someone was during a cold winter day when she and Ann had just returned from an outing. Jinty went into the back yard and Ann stayed indoors. Suddenly, Jinty raced into the house and touched Ann, alerting her to trouble. She led Ann over to the fence that separated her property from her neighbors. Peeping over the fence, Ann saw that her elderly neighbor had collapsed in his garden and had been laying there for several hours in the bitter cold. If Jinty had not alerted Ann, it is possible that the neighbor would not have survived much longer.

Her second life-saving rescue came late one evening when Ann collapsed in the bathroom. Sick with the flu, Ann had gone into the bathroom and closed the door. She fainted and fell between the toilet and the wall. Feeling very weak, Ann was able to pull herself to the door and open it. Jinty took one look at Ann and knew her owner needed help. She ran to get Ann's husband to alert him that something was wrong.

Jinty's third act of heroism came when Ann's husband fell in the garden. While Ann's husband Keith was trimming a hedge, he slipped and fell off the steps. Jinty immediately sensed that Keith needed help and ran inside to alert Ann. Keith was shaken but unhurt.

Once even when Ann and Keith were at a wedding, Jinty touched Ann's leg alerting her to danger. Ann looked down at Jinty who immediately laid down in the signal for danger. The fire alarm had just gone off and they were all asked to leave the room. Though it was a false alarm, the staff and guests all commented on how quickly Jinty went into action.

For her many heroic deeds, Jinty has been nominated for Hearing Dogs' Hero Hound Award. She was also the first-ever winner for the Heroic Hearing Dog of the Year award in 2003. This award is given to hearing dogs that have either saved their owner's or someone else's life, acted above and beyond the call of duty or potentially averted a tricky or dangerous situation.