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Taking Care of Grandma

John and Gloria Benton with their hero dog Titan.

Every day, when John Benton of Lawrenceville, GA gets ready to leave for work, he says to his dog Titan, "Go take care of Grandma!" The Pit Bull would usually curl up on the bed where his wife Gloria was sleeping and keep her company throughout the day. One day last summer, as John was trying to leave, Titan ran back downstairs and blocked the doorway so that John could not leave. "He's running around in circles, he's running up to the first level and back down so I figured he wanted me to follow him, so I did." John went up the stairs to check on his wife and found her unconscious lying on the floor with blood coming from her head.

John got help for his wife and it was discovered that she had suffered a brain aneurysm and fractured her skull when she fell. "Low and behold, they said that if it hadn't been for this dog and the time frame that was involved and as quickly as we had, she wouldn't have been here because when I leave, I don't check back in until 2:00 in the afternoon so she would have bled to death or the aneurysm would have killed her," explains John.

Gloria is slowly healing from her ordeal and is glad Titan is a part of the family, but remembers when her son first brought him home, she was a little skeptical about owning a Pit Bull. "When my son brought him home I said, why on earth did you get a dog like that because you hear so many bad things about them," she explains, "but it didn't take him long for him to win me over."

Officers from the Gwinnett County Sheriff Department were glad to honor Titan because they felt that breed sometimes gets a bad rap so when they can celebrate such a great deed, they say that they will always take advantage of it. Titan is the first non-human to be honored as "Neighbor of the Year" by the Vintage Pointe Neighborhood Association. He was also a runner-up in the Valor Dog of the Year sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States.