Two years ago my nephew was returning from the grocery store early Sunday morning and ran his car off the road. He hit a tree and sustained life-threating inuries to his neck and back.  His dog, Charlie, was in the car.  Unharmed, Charlie stayed right next to my nephew for several minutes, licking his face and holding his head against the seat and neck restraint. He  apparently ‘braced’ the boy’s neck with an understanding of the injury and pain that his owner was feeling.  When the paramedics arrived they took over from Charlie, stabilizing his neck and back.  Charlie leapt from the car and ran approximately 1/2 mile home to alert my brother and sister-in-law of the accident.  Quickly aware of the urgency and alarm that Charlie conveyed, they followed the dog back to the scene of the accident to find their son in the hands of the medical team.  After restraining my nephew and loading him into the ambulance for transport, the paramedics told my brother that without Charlie’s immediate care and [neck] support, my nephew would have sustained far more severe injuries – if not permanent paralysis.  Charlie was the first line of defense; and of course, a hero!  He was just doing what he knew best; taking care of his master and his friend.

— Dan from Huntingtown, MD