Animals to the Rescue!: True Stories of Animal Heroesby Christopher Farran, Warren Chang
25 incredible true stories!
Read it to believe it
Read more about Haven's remarkable rescue and other amazing animals in this collection of action-packed tales by ace reporter Christopher Farran.
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1ST AVON E
- Product dimensions:
- 5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.25(d)
- Age Range:
- 8 - 12 Years
Read an Excerpt
We found other rescue stories through newspapers, magazines, TV shows, and telephone calls.
All of us who are pet owners would like to think that our pets are devoted enough to us so that they'd rescue us from some dire emergency. Our animals are comforting . . . it's wonderfully soothing to have your parakeet sitting on your shoulder or your cat snoozing on your lap or your dog napping at your feet. . . . But it's also reassuring to think they could rescue us from danger if they needed to.
One of the best things about living in southern Georgia is that even in January the weather is often mild enough for kids to play outdoors. January 27, 1997, was one of those mild days, so two-year-old Sean Harry persuaded his mother, Lisa, to take him out into his grandmother's backyard in Boston, Georgia. Sean and his mother were visiting from their home in Alabama, and Sean's grandmother, Phyllis Ingham, was at work.
As his mother watched, Sean wandered around the yard cracking open the large pecan nuts that are so abundant in the area and playing with his grandmother's Chihuahua, Haven. Haven was just a year old'Sean's grandmother had adopted her the previous summer from a nearby animal shelter'but she was an adventurous dog who liked riding with Phyllis Ingham on horseback and on her lawn mower.Sean had wandered over to a small pile of hay in one corner of the yard when suddenly his mother heard him scream. �It was an unbelievable scream,� she said, �one that I had never heard.�
From across the yard, Lisa Harry could see that a three-foot-long water moccasin had grabbed Sean's pant leg and was shaking the little boy violently.
The southeastern United States is full of creeks and swamps, where water moccasins are common, and she knew that the venom of these snakes is a deadly poison.
Crying and screaming as the snake shook him back and forth, Sean needed help fast. But'as every parent knows'when disaster strikes a child, you can't move fast enough. Stunned by what she saw, his mother Lisa said, �I just froze.� Haven didn't freeze. The little tan-and-white Chihuahua raced across the yard and, Lisa said, �Jumped right on the snake, put her paws on Sean's leg, and just shook and shook until she got it off.� Sean's grandmother, Phyllis Ingham, said later that the little dog �grabbed the snake in her mouth and ran off with it.�
Sean's mother grabbed the little boy and ran inside the house to call Phyllis Ingham at work. Sean didn't appear to be injured, but there was a small cut on his leg where the snake's fang had cut the skin, and it was bleeding slightly. �The snake's fang had penetrated the skin, but the venom hadn't gone into the cut,� Sean's grandmother said. �The venom was on his jeans.�
When Sean began to get sleepy'probably from shock and anxiety'the two adults grew concerned. Phyllis Ingham came home from work and they took Sean to the hospital in nearby Thomasville, Georgia, where Dr. Henry Gainey gave him an antivenom drink, just to be safe. Given the young boy's size, Dr. Gainey said, �A bite certainly could have killed him.� Sean's grandmother believes that if any venom had got into the cut on Sean's leg, the bleeding might have washed it out before it could get into the little boy's body.
By the time the three of them got home from the hospital, Haven was snooping around the backyard as usual, and the snake was never found. Remembering that she had gotten Haven from an animal shelter, Phyllis Ingham said, �The good Lord meant for us to have Haven.�
Shortly afterward, she put the house up for sale. �I moved,� she said. �That place was just too snakey.�
One of the great pleasures for horse owner Melinda Johnson was entering her quarter horse Miss Kristy Deck in competitive trail rides near her home in Coldspring, Texas.
These rides follow a predetermined course across open countryside, often through private farms and ranches, usually taking half a day or more to complete. They're not races, but there is normally a maximum time limit; they're mostly a measure of how well the horse and rider work together. Trained observers are stationed at each obstacle'like a creek or a low fence'to score each rider's performance.
In the spring of 1993, Melinda entered a competitive trail ride in Columbus, Texas, near Houston. By midmorning she was enjoying being outdoors in Kristy's saddle on a clear and sunny day. The trail marked off for the riders that day went through farmland that was mostly scrub and trees, with some rocky hills.
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