Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Service Dog Saves Central Texas Pastor From Drowning

 LAMPASAS (KCEN)- A service dog who sprung into action has been credited with saving his owner from drowning after the local pastor blacked out.
Pastor Ray McCoy suffers from a rare disease called Von Hippel Lindau syndrome that has caused tumors in his spinal cord.
In addition to chronic severe pain, the condition also often caused Pastor McCoy to black out unexpectedly when he leaned a certain way from the tumors pressing on his spinal cord.
One day as he was drawing a hot bath to try to ease the ongoing pain caused by the tumors in his spinal cord he blacked out.
His service dog sprung into action and pulled him out of the tub by his ankle. The water still running and Excalibur's chest and front legs were soaked.
"With Excalibur's help, I was able to roll myself out of the tub," says Pastor McCoy. "Then he fetched my phone for me and I was able to call my wife and son for help."
Excalibur's feat is even more incredible because he used to be afraid of running water and would try to avoid it.
"We think he must have been abused with someone using a hose to spray him with water," says McCoy. "My wife and I and our trainer worked a long time to get him more comfortable around it. It paid off. I could have drowned in that tub."
Excalibur, a black Labrador retriever, was trained for Pastor McCoy by Texas Hearing and Service Dogs, a non profit agency that rescues dogs from animal shelters and trains them to help Texans living with disabilities free of charge.
This is the second time Excalibur has helped in an emergency when I blacked out," says McCoy.
‘The first time Excalibur help avoid a potential life threatening disaster was the day after the trainer moved him into our home," explains McCoy. "I was at the far end of our backyard, I passed out and fell down the hill on our property. Excalibur raced back to our house and kept flinging himself on our back door until my wife Michelle came out. Then he led her back to me."
Excalibur and other Service Dogs helped their disabled partners with everyday tasks like picking up dropped keys and cell phones, opening doors and tugging off socks and jackets.
"Excalibur not only helps me do things I can't physically do," says McCoy. "He gives emotional support to my wife. She is more at ease leaving me alone while she is at work knowing that Excalibur is by my side and able to render aid in the event I need it. Texas Hearing and Service Dogs also trained Excalibur to call 911 by pushing a button on our alarm system in the event I need help and no one is around. My wife and I both give Praise to God daily for Excalibur and THSD for changing our lives.
"It's not every day a Service Dog, even one like Excalibur, saves his partner's life, but it is every day that he helps make life worth living." 

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