Even on a seemingly slow day in a relatively “quiet” neighborhood, police officers have to be on the lookout for potential danger at all times. When something seems out of place—even if it doesn’t necessarily seem to indicate a threat—it’s up to them to investigate.
That’s why one police officer was on high alert when he cam face to face with a black Labrador stalking the streets of a Wisconsin neighborhood on a cold, snowy day. When he realized that the dog was trying to tell him something, it was up him to take heroic action…
February 15, 2015 began as a day like any other for on-duty police officer Jeff Gonzalez. The air was crisp and the quiet neighborhood of Autumn Ridge, Wisconsin, seemed as peaceful as it ever was. However, that was all about to change.
It was a particularly cold day, and there was plenty of snow on the ground from earlier in the week. That was just one of the reasons why it was so strange that Officer Gonzalez saw a clearly distressed black Labrador retriever wandering around by himself.
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Even though he wasn’t necessarily responsible for assisting lost pets for his job, Officer Gonzalez had an affinity for animals. Besides, he believed it was the right thing to do for his community… although in this case, the dog wasn’t the only one in trouble.
The dog was frantically pacing back and forth. Concerned that he might run into the road and get hit by a car, Office Gonzalez reduced his speed in an attempt to get closer to the animal and keep him calm.
Michigan State Police Emergency Management / Flickr
At that point, the dog took notice of the police officer, and although he stopped walking, he started barking… loudly. The moment that Officer Gonzalez rolled down his windows, the dog’s tail started wagging. He seemed friendly, but something was definitely wrong…
Officer Gonzalez stepped out of his car, and the Labrador became excited, running around frantically. The officer could only assume that he had done something to frighten the poor animal. Unless there was something more?
When the dog stopped again and looked back at Officer Gonzalez, it became clear that he wanted to lead him somewhere. Intrigued, the officer obliged, and he followed the dog directly to a nearby house. It wasn’t long before he figured out why the dog was so upset…
It was at this home that Officer Gonzalez found a woman, whom he assumed was the dog’s owner, slumped over in a chair on her front porch. He quickly assessed her condition, and she didn’t move when he touched her.
Officer Gonzalez initially assumed the worst. “I thought she was dead,” he later admitted. “And when I went up, she was very cold to the touch. Her lips were blue.” Thankfully, he checked her pulse—she was still alive! He immediately called dispatch for help.
Officer Gonzalez also contacted his partner, who helped him carry the woman into her home. The frigid temperatures could have threatened her life just as much as whatever else she was suffering from.
While they waited for the ambulance to arrive, the two officers were able to identify the woman: Krystal Wendt. With that information, they quickly tried to reach her next of kin.
Officer Gonzalez had the difficult job of calling Tianne Wendt, Krystal’s daughter. “Basically what he told me was… he said that they thought that she was dead,” the young woman said.
Shocked, Tianne and her aunt rushed to the hospital where the police had just taken Krystal. From there, all they could do was sit and wait for whatever news the doctors could give them. Meanwhile, Krystal’s dog—John Boy—was still worried, too!
Eventually, the women were informed that the incident had been caused by Krystal’s heart condition. The doctors explained that she had been unconscious in the cold for nearly an hour, but she survived!
Krystal’s survival was thanks largely to both Officer Gonzalez’s quick thinking and the cleverness of her black Labrador retriever, John Boy. Officer Gonzalez was quick to credit John Boy for saving the day!
Officer Gonzalez was convinced that John Boy was the true hero of the story. “I gotta believe that at this point, he pointed me in the right direction,” the officer said in an interview.
Tianne confirmed that John Boy and Krystal shared an important relationship. “He’s very protective of my mom,” she added. That shouldn’t have come as any surprise, since John Boy had three stints in a local shelter before Krystal adopted him!
Tianne believed that John Boy and her mother were meant for each other, and it was easy to see why. Though Krystal would need to be deemed healthy enough in order to be sent back home, at least she would have someone special waiting for her…
Tianne gave Officer Gonzalez a big hug to thank him for his hard work. Her mother was on the road to recovery, and it was all because this hard-working officer took the time to investigate a situation that others in his position might have brushed off.
Countless folks consider their pets valuable members of their own families, and this story is proof. Most people would go to whatever lengths necessary to save the lives of their loved ones, and many dogs are exactly the same way!
There’s something about a dog saving the life of an owner—especially after they were rescued by a shelter themselves—that tugs at the heartstrings like nothing else. Hopefully Krystal stays safe, and surely John Boy will continue to stand by her.
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