According to Khou.com, October 30 started off like any other day for Paul Horton when he went out for his usual morning bike ride, accompanied by his 4-year-old Golden Retriever, Yogi. This particular ride turned out to be different from all the others when Horton, 57, failed to navigate a small jump from a dirt trail to the paved road.
“I had probably done that 100 times, 200 times,” said Horton. ”[This time] I went over the handlebars and landed on my head on the concrete … and life changed.”
The failed jump left Horton paralyzed from the chest down. He lay motionless for 45 minutes, before realizing Yogi was still beside him.
“I expected him to behave like Lassie and run down to the police station and tap out my location in Morse code or something,” said Horton.
Yogi didn’t quite do that, but he did manage to sniff out Horton’s neighbor, Bruce Tate, who happened to be walking down the trail with his wife.
“Yogi is a quiet, happy dog, he’s never noisy at all, but he was barking furiously to get our attention,” said Tate.
The Tates followed the pup through the wooded area and down the hill to where Horton was lying. They immediately called 911.
The couple wondered what would have happened that day if Yogi didn’t interrupt their walk. “I don’t think we would have seen Paul without Yogi,” Tate said. ”I think Yogi saved his life.”
Dr. Juan Latoree, medical director of St. David’s Rehabilitation Hospital, said, “For somebody who cannot move and cannot ask for help, you can develop a pressure ulcer, you develop an infection, a clot, and you can die if you are not rescued soon. So I think the dog was critical.”
After a month of treatment, Horton has recovered some movement in his arms, hands and upper body. He’s still thankful that his pup saved his life.
“[Yogi] is my hero. It is possible that if he had not done what he did, they might have walked right on by, and there is no telling when somebody else would have come by,” said Horton.
Horton and his wife, Shearon, are extremely grateful to the Tates, the hospital and, most of all, to Yogi.