‘Hero’ dog aids Gardnerville man with heat exhaustion

September 26, 2022
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Dick James, 81, of Gardnerville, and his pleasant dog Puppy rarely leave one another’s side. Being that attuned to his owner might have prompted the part bichon, part poodle to save James’ life last week when he saw him suffering heat exhaustion.
James, a resident of the Chateau of Gardnerville, a senior living community, had finished up an errand, after having Puppy accompany him in the basket of his electric cart. Upon his return to the Chateau, James began feeling warm and dizzy, he said. He released Puppy as he normally did getting out of the car.
“I was hot and clammy, a little disoriented,” he said. “I pulled (my walker) out, he came over and watched me do it.”
Puppy grew anxious enough that he immediately went barking, seeking Chateau staff members’ attention to get help for his master, running around on the lawn, according to resident Betty Hundreiser.
Once staff members found James, they called 9-1-1, with responders sending an ambulance to transport him to Carson Valley Medical Center next door, where he was tested for four hours. Doctors there confirmed James had heat exhaustion and he went home the same afternoon.
“We’re all 80 and over here,” Hundreiser said. “To see this was amazing. He’s never done anything like this. He was adamant to make sure to follow him. We were just amazed. We’re proud of him. … The dog is a hero.”
James, originally from Los Angeles and worked as a head football coach and college professor for about 40 years before retiring, said he spent time vacationing in Plumas County.
“I spent four years in a motorhome park, then I came here, but I was running out of the ability to live by myself,” he said.
When he began searching for a place to move permanently, he began in Reno and continued south until he found the Chateau, ultimately deciding it was “the best place for both of us,” he said for himself and his dog.
“He’s my friend, my roommate, my neighbor, my colleague,” he said. “In the process of being mine, he shares himself with everybody else. He loves ankles, loves feet – ankles for the lotion and feet because people drop food on their shoes. He’s got it all figured out.”

Story Source: https://www.recordcourier.com/news/2022/jul/25/hero-dog-aids-gardnerville-man-heat-exhaustion/

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