It was just another day for Mark White. As per usual, he began his morning on a walk with his two beloved dogs. But the events that followed would be a day that he would never have anticipated.
A Seemingly Normal Day
Mark White lives in Michigan with his two lovable pups. Each day he takes his dogs for a walk around the neighborhood. But, this day he was about to encounter something that would have a startling outcome.
A Stranger Appears
Rounding a corner, an unknown man approached Mark. The stranger was frantic. Night was drawing near, and he looked extremely distressed. Yet he could not get his words out, and was choking back tears.
Desperately In Need Of Some Help
The man was eventually able to get his words out, after some reassurance from Mark. He sat him down, and told him to breathe deeply. After a few moments, the elderly man began to speak, but what he would say, would be extremely worrisome.
Lost and Confused
The man’s wife, 64-year-old Terry Carl, had suddenly disappeared while on a walk with her husband. But Mr Carl’s wife was not like other women. Unfortunately, Terry suffers from dementia, a terrible degenerative brain disorder which often leaves it’s sufferers’ confused and severely disorientated.
A Severe Case
Often confused with Alzheimers, dementia can be a serious and debilitating disease. The affliction can also cause severe short and long term memory loss, behavioral issues and delusions. But those are not the only symptoms, some dementia sufferers are quick to anger and, Terry’s case, can often be prone to wandering off.
It was dusk, the sun was setting and soon, night would fall. The man and Mark knew that the search for Terry would be much harder at night. The September evening was cold and soon, Mr Carl began to panic. He had little idea as to where Terry had wandered off to and the hours were beginning to tick by.
A Helping Hand
Mark was known around the neighbourhood as a friendly and helpful guy. As Mr Carl began to panic, Mark assured him that would help him search for his wife. He would walk the park, take a different route and keep himself alert to anyone that could aid him and Mr Carl on their search for the lost and confused, Terry.
A Dog’s Intuition
Mark searched the surrounding area for Carl but he saw no one who resembled the woman that her husband had described. As he searched the local streets he began to feel discouraged, thinking that he would be help in the search for Terry. But Mark was accompanied by his two dogs, Belle and Crew. Soon, their noses began to twitch and their tails began to wag feverishly.
Alert The Cops
It seemed the right time to alert the police as well, so that they had extra eyes on the search. The Police put out an announcement, so that others in the area would also be sure to keep a look out for the missing elderly woman.
Dogs have an intuition and a sense of danger unlike humans. They pick up on sounds that we cannot hear, and they can sniff out things that we would never be able to find. Dogs are more than just pets, and especially these two pooches. Little did they know what they would find that day.
Into The Woods
Mark soon passed a patch of thick woods between two of the neighborhood’s streets. It was getting very dark and eery now. The hounds began pulling on their leashes. The dogs were alert and would not be deterred. Their strange and uncharacteristic change in behavior convinced Mark to follow the dogs. He had to investigate.
An Unlikely Surprise
Mark and his dogs crossed the busy street and headed into the woods. The forest was thick but Mark persevered. Sure enough, in a small clearing between the trees, there was something shining on the forest floor. The dog’s barked and ran up to find out more about what it was.
A Clue To The Puzzle
The shiny object turned out to be a pair of glasses. But whose were they? and where was the person who owned them? They must carry on looking, they were closer to solving the mystery.
One Step Closer
As they carried on through the woods, Mark was getting very cold and wondered whether to turn in for the night. But he thought about the sweet old man, and he could not bear to let him down. So he pushed on with his pooches deeper and deeper into the woods. It all looked the same now, and it was just him and his flashlight to lead him and the dogs.
The dogs started to sniff quickly and loudly, and drag Mark so much that his arm nearly came out of its socket. Running now, him and the dogs approached a clearing. And there in the clearing, was just what they were looking for. A female figure staring aimlessly and shivering. It was a sad sight to see.
Lost then Found
The woman was obviously confused but responded to the name of Terry. Mr Carl’s wife had been found. All with the help of Belle and Crew. Mark helped the woman up and headed back to the neighborhood streets. They went to the station to look for Mr Carl.
As they approached the station, an ambulance was outside. They rushed to see what had happened, and their mouths dropped as they saw that it was Mr Carl on the bed. What had happened?
Sadly they learned that Mr Carl had had a severe anxiety attack, which must have been caused from his wife’s disappearance. He stopped breathing and so the ambulance were called in a hurry, now they had to rush him to hospital. He was set up to a breathing monitor. His wife who was very disorientated, was taken home by Mark. But Mr Carl’s fate was still unknown.
What Would The Outcome Be?
Mark waited by the phone nervously while watching Terry. He was waiting for a call from the hospital to find out what the verdict was with Mr Carl.Just a few hours ago he was fine, and now he was in a critical condition. It was very worrisome, especially with his fine in such a fragile state. All he could do was wait.
A Waiting game
Suddenly, he was startled as the phone rang, just as he was dozing into a nap. The doctor spoke to him on the phone, and explained that they were able to restore his breathing back to normal, and that he was going to be ok. Mark was overjoyed. Today had been quite the turn of events. But what happened to his dogs?
A Big Thank You
Wixom police chief Ron Moore told reporters about White and his dog’s amazing rescue. “The officers were in the process of taking the police report when [Terry Carl] was ultimately found,” he said. Moore went on to applaud both Mr White and helpful hounds for their help with finding the missing woman.
A Happy Ending
“This is a great story,” said police officer Moore, “because we value our partnership with our community.” Clever dogs Belle and Crew were rewarded with some doggie treats and a lot of attention from both Mr Carl, the police and their owner. Moore tweeted news of the dogs’ detective work, describing their rescue as a “great job.”
Man’s Best Friend To The Rescue
But Belle and Crew are not the only clever dogs who have helped recover missing persons who happen to suffer from dementia. In July 27, 2017, a trained police dog tracked down another woman who had been reported missing. The unnamed woman from Florida had been lost for hours but was found within a few minutes of the dogs being on the search for the woman.
An Interesting Trick
The Florida-based woman was actually found using her own scent. A sample of her odor had been bottled at a nearby police station so she could be tracked down in the event of her wandering off and going missing. The scent sample was over two years old, thank goodness the kit used to store the sample had a seven-year shelf life.
Dogs are more than lovable pets. Hounds are being trained as service animals to help dementia and Altzheimer sufferers. These dogs help to assist people with routine activities that might forget to do during the course of their day. Service dogs not only offer the sufferer a loving companion but can direct them to pre-prepared notes that give them instructions and daily reminders.
A Helping Paw
These dogs are only providing their human partners valuable companionship but also helping to remind their owners to take their medicine. Using sound recognition training, the dog is able to understand when to deliver their owner’s medicine. They carry the package of medication to the sufferer along with an explanatory note that will remind the human what to take and what dosages to adhere to.
Always On Hand For Safety
These dogs’ collars also make use of a special high-tech addition; they are equipped with a GPS device. These help to teach the pet to stay by the side of their owner at all times. The GPS device allows the dog and owner to be located, in case the two are ever separated. Most importantly, also emits a high-pitched noise that sends the dog a signal.
To The Rescue Like No Other
As soon as the sound is emitted – or the dog receives the vocal command they have been trained to understand – the dog can safely lead its owner to safety. If their owner ever finds themselves in unfamiliar territory, this helps them to find their way safely back home. There are so many reasons why dogs are known as our best friends, this is one more impressive reason that can be added to the list.