From way back through the centuries there are stories of animals saving and nurturing people. They have rescued and raised lost babies and put themselves in danger to keep humans from being harmed.
Animals are trained to sniff out danger like bombs so people would be safer. They are trained to alert somebody when their owners have a health crisis. Seeing eye dogs are a lifeline for the blind. We've all heard stories about animals in nursing homes and hospitals giving people in those places a new lease on life because they have something to love and love them back. Heroes every one of them. Here are a few more.
A pot bellied pig who was the pet of a young woman was home with the young woman's mother. The mother had a heart attack and was not able to get help. The pig cried for a short time then ran out of the house and managed to unlatch the gate. She went into the street and laid down when a car came. It didn't stop so she jumped up and went back to check on the woman. She repeated this tactic many times until finally somebody stopped and followed her into the house, saving the woman's life.
In Kenya authorities were looking for a 12-year-old girl who had disappeared. She had been kidnapped by several men. They tried to force her to marry one of them. After a week of searching, she was finally found surrounded by 3 lions. They had heard her crying. They chased the men away and kept her safe. When police got there they roared mightily and walked away to let them take the girl home.
One family had a cat they weren't particularly fond of. At 4:45 one morning the cat started loudly crying. The mother of the family went to shut her up. The cat was in the attached garage and the garage was on fire. The woman grabbed the cat and woke her husband and 5 kids. All escaped safely. Needless to say the cat is now a family favorite.
In Canada a 14-year-old boy went out to get wood to heat the house. He noticed his dog acting funny but he had work to do. Suddenly from less than 10 feet away a cougar pounced. The dog jumped directly into the path of the cougar and saved the boy. Luckily a police constable was there in time to kill the cougar saving the dog's life. After extensive surgery the dog is home with his family.
A woman had been extremely mistreated as a child. When she grew up she began taking care of horses. One of them had been abused by people at a boarding stable and attacked by dogs there. Its legs were scarred from the attack. The two formed a bond. The horse saved the woman from many mishaps including avoiding a car accident. One night the woman woke to the sound of the horses. She ran out without dressing properly and discovered the fence had been knocked down. She raced to her horses and found a neighbor's stallion there. The stallion saw her too. It charged towards her. Her horse jumped between them. As all three slowly circled her horse bit, reared, and bumped until the rest of the woman's family came out and out an end to the situation.
A woman was relaxing at home. She was munching on an apple when she began to choke. She couldn't dislodge the piece of apple even when she started beating on her chest. The family dog took his cue and started jumping onto her chest. The piece of apple broke loose and she began to breathe. Then the dog licked her face to make sure she didn't lose consciousness.
At about 2:00 on a cold morning in Montana a kitten jumped onto a sleeping woman's chest and started to tap her on the nose with her paw. She shoved her away and went back to sleep. She did it again. The woman woke up and saw that the kitten was sniffing the air in a strange way. The woman's husband was awakened and they heard a hissing sound. They got out of the house. A main gas line had broken and filled their basement with gas. If the furnace had kicked on the house would have exploded. The kitten won a Purple Paw award.
A volunteer at the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort McArthur slipped on wet cement and fell into the water tank. Three elephant seal pups immediately started toward him. These pups all weighed at least 150 pounds. A female pup inserted herself between the man and the male pups and successfully chased them away.
A farmer was doing daily chores when he was knocked into a manure pile, breaking his hip. He couldn't move and nobody was close enough to hear his calls for help. His goat stayed close to him for 5 days to keep him warm. She even let him have some of her milk to keep him fed.
At a zoo in Illinois a 3-year-old boy fell 18 feet into the enclosure that housed the gorillas. He hit his head and was unconscious. A mother gorilla with a young one of her own picked him up and cradled him. She carried him to the door of the enclosure and laid him there so rescuers could get him.
Off the coast of Italy a 14-year-old boy fell from his father's boat. The boy couldn't swim and his father didn't realize that he was in the water. A dolphin came swimming up. The boy grabbed on to the dolphin and held on while it swam close enough to the boat to catch the attention of the father who hauled the boy back aboard.
A 15-year-old German Shorthaired dog was out for an afternoon walk with his owner. Normally when they came to a certain point in their path they turned left but that day the dog insisted that they turn right. The owner was surprised because the dog was well trained and would usually follow the lead. So they went right. Just off the trail was an old man lying frozen to the ground. The man thought he was dead but he wasn't. They were able to get get help and the old man was transported to the hospital. Unfortunately he died a few days later but the man feels that his dog made sure that the old man's last days were more comfortable than he would have been on the road.
A stray dog in Kenya found a plastic bag in the forest. Inside the bag was a newborn baby. The dog carried the bag out of the forest, across a road, through barbed wire, and back to a shed where she stayed with her puppies. The owner of the shed found the baby and called authorities. The baby was taken to the hospital where it was doing very well.
A 1-year-old boy was visiting his grandparents in Colorado. He was outside splashing in the bird bath when a rattlesnake slithered up and struck. The grandparents' Chihuahua jumped between and took the snakebites. Both toddler and dog survived.
A fire erupted in a house in Alaska. The two people and their German shepherd got out safely. The dog's owner told him "We have to get help!" The dog took off and found a police car that was lost on the roads as they were trying to get to the fire. They followed the dog who led them directly to the site. Just to make sure they were following him, the dog periodically looked back over his shoulder to make sure they were there.
A young woman broke her neck in a diving accident while she was home alone. Her family's dog came to her rescue. As the woman felt herself losing consciousness the dog dove in the pool and swam up under her shoulder. The dog took her to the shallow end of the pool then helped her get out. The girl's mother came home and called emergency services.
A man in Arkansas answered his doorbell. Two men started beating him and demanded drugs. The man's pet macaw attacked them. The bird squawked, bit a chunk out of one man's arm, and beat at them with it's wings. The thieves ran off and the man and bird were relatively unharmed.
As you can see our kinship with animals often reaches beyond the food chain. Animals that we normally think of as something to be feared become allies. Animals that we believe to be dependent on us take care of us instead. I don't advocate running to Africa to make friends with a lion but you never know where help will come from.