My Hero Dog – Part 1 – by Debbie Norman

“But he’s just a dog!”  This phrase has excused the mistreatment of more pets than you can shake a squeaky at.  Dogs are one of the most healing forces in the universe.  For instance, Science has now proven that dogs (or cats) visiting or residing in nursing homes provide a healing energy that cannot be copied by technology.

This Puppy Dog Tales series, in part, is to offer people stories and ideas that illustrate the fact that dogs are much, much more that “just dogs.”

Following is part 1 of a story by one of my blogging friends, Debbie Norman, known in the blogging world as Dorky Deb.  Dorky, she is not.  I think she is one of the bravest, lovingest, mommiest(*) person I know.  Here is how her dog Coco became her hero.

(* “Mommiest” meaning a totally loving and devoted mother of children, 
who adore her and have even called her Angel Mom.)


My Hero Dog

 by Dorky Deb (aka Debbie Norman)

Copyright © April 25, 2013 by Debbie Norman
All rights reserved.
Reblogged from Mrs. Norman’s blog at


Eight years ago, we rescued a little puppy. We named her CoCo.

She was my protector at all times. She was never a dog that had much prey-drive and she certainly didn’t care for chasing after bugs or bees. But she gradually caught on to the fact, that bees and wasps frightened me. (They frighten me because I am allergic. Every time I’ve gotten stung, my reaction is worse than the time before.)

Therefore, she decided that bees and wasps were the enemy.  Anytime that she spotted one near me, she would relentlessly pursue it, until she caught it. She would bite it, it would sting her mouth and she would wince in pain, make a terrible face and spit it out. Only to bite it again and again until it didn’t move anymore. I hated seeing her get stung, but there was no stopping her. She was determined to protect me. Thankfully she didn’t seem to ever swell or have reactions to the stings.

But if I weren’t around, she didn’t bother with them at all. For example, if she were outside without me, and I was watching from inside, she made no attempt to go after a wasp. But if I were with her, or if the wasp got inside, she would go after it with a level of seriousness you only see with working police dogs.  LOL  If it got too high in the air for her, she would watch, relentlessly, waiting for a moment when it would come low enough to grab.  Then she would leap into action.  When she was done, she would proudly walk over to me like, “I got it!”

She grew up to have long, skinny legs and huge ears.

She grew up to have long, skinny legs and huge ears.


And she could smile.

And she could smile.


In January of 2007, it was 10 degrees outside with a windchill of -10.  Ella hadn’t been born yet, and my two oldest kids were at my parents’ house for the day.  My husband, who normally would have been at work, was at home asleep in bed.  There had been a bad stomach virus going around where he worked as a nurse, and it had hit him – hard.

I thought it was hot in the house, and I decided to take a nice long walk on my family’s property.  (You can tell I was healthier back then.  There is no way I would attempt a long walk in 10 degree weather now.)  Because I was hot, I went out in only a thin camo jacket.  (That was the incredibly stupid mistake that I made. No matter how warm you feel at the time, you should never go out in weather that cold, that thinly dressed.)  I took the dogs with me, they were excited to go.

While we were out walking, Spike (our very large Boxer mix, who passed away a few years ago), went to the top of the mountain.  Later on, he saw me from the top of the mountain, and happily came barreling down the hill at his usual, insanely fast, rate of speed.

On the hill, we have these springs of water that almost never freeze no matter how cold it gets.  As Spike was running towards me, he stepped in one of these springs, slipped, and his feet flew out from under him.  He flew through the air, and collided with my legs – head first.  He hit me so hard, that I went straight UP into the air.  (Apparently a 100+ pound dog barreling down a mountain, can hit you with quite a bit of force.)  I came crashing down on my left leg, breaking it, with a sound I’ll likely never forget. This is the same leg that I had surgically reconstructed in the past.

It was the stupidest freak accident. Spike just happened to hit that spring and slip, and he just happened to collide with me.  He went off about 10 feet away from me and laid there – staring into space.  He was fine, but his bell was rung and he was totally out of it for a while.  The fall had aggravated old shoulder and spinal injuries of mine, from a car accident I’d been in years prior.  But my leg was a mangled mess.

The bottom part of my leg, was folded over against the side of my leg.  It was folded over so badly, that the sole of my tennis shoe, was facing UP and touching the side of my leg.  It was not a pretty sight. My stomach did a flip-flop at the sight of it.  I knew I had to get help, but how?  I yelled for help, but my high-pitched voice doesn’t carry all that well anyway.  And it was so cold that no one was outside to hear me.

My husband was home, thankfully, but I knew he was sleeping upstairs like a rock.  I knew he would never hear me in his sleep. I thought about trying to crawl to my parents house.  But I knew right away that I couldn’t make it that far. So my plan was to make it to my vehicle and get in and blow the horn until someone came.

How does your pet show that s/he is your hero?
What kinds of things do you and your pet love
doing together?
If you would like to share that story, please
just enter a comment at the bottom of this post
where it obligingly says, “Leave a Comment.”


 (Next week watch for My Hero Dog – with Dorky Deb – Part 2)


Column and introductory text copyright ©
2013 by Sandra Bell Kirchman.
MY HERO DOG title, content and pictures
copyright © 2013 by Debbie Norman.
All rights reserved by the authors.
(Volume 14-5.1, May 4, 2014)


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  1. Pingback: My Hero Dog – Part 2 – by Debbie Norman | Puppy Dog Tales

  2. Pingback: My Hero Dog – Part 3 – by Debbie Norman | Puppy Dog Tales

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