A dog is believed to have saved the life of Julia, a three-year-old Polish girl. The child was reported missing overnight from the small town of Pierzwin, in Lubusz province of western Poland; she was last seen playing with the small black mongrel on Friday.
A search party, of firefighters, police officers, rescue workers and residents, searched through the night and the child was eventually found, several kilometres from her home, with dog by her side. She was heard calling for her mother.
Firefighter Grzegorz Szymanski said Julia would probably not have survived the night had it not been for the dog: "For the whole night the animal was with the girl, it never left her. Remember, it was five degrees below zero and the child was wet."
Julia is now in a hospital in Poland, suffering from nothing worse than frostbite, after having endured the harsh overnight conditions.
Man's Best Friend
Dogs have an honourable history of saving human lives. On 9 April 2012, The Week reported that a robber disguised as a FedEx delivery man forced his way into an apartment in New York City. Justin Becker, the owner, tried to resist but the intruder had a gun. It was then that Becker's dog leapt to his defence and sprang upon the intruder. The dog was shot at but the bullet ricocheted off its skull and exited through the neck, miraculously saving its life.
Last October, the Mirror reported an incident in Sutton-in-Ashfield, where Aysha Perry, 18, was choking on a chicken bone. Her dog, a Japanese Akita, reportedly thumped her on her back using her paws - the canine version of the Heimlich manoeuvre - to save her life.