A person can be granted a service dog for a number of different reasons. These highly trained pups make the lives of their human companions easier to manage in a number of ways.
The relationship between service dogs and the disabled people who count on them is symbiotic to a greater degree than any other.
“I take care of you, you take care of me,” Maria Colon told NBC 10, describing her relationship with her service dog Yolanda. Colon is blind, and relies on Yolanda to help navigate the world around her everyday.
But Yolanda, a Golden Retriever with a penchant for heroism, isn’t just telling Colon when it’s safe to walk. She is making a habit out of saving her life.
Maria Colon is blind and counts on her service dog Yolanda on a daily basis. In the event of an emergency, this canine is well trained.
Colon has been blind since 1992. Now in her 60s, the Philadelphia resident has spent half of her life in the dark. She’s never had a companion like Yolanda, though.
The Golden Retriever is affectionate and loving, always wagging her tail. But when Colon yells the word “danger,” Yolanda is all business.
“When you train a dog, you use one word all the time.”
Yolanda is trained to know the word “danger.” In August of 2015, Colon realized that her house was on fire, and years of daily training were put to the test.
“I hear the phone — tke, tke, tke. And she’s growling. And I said, ‘Oh my lord, she called the police,'” Colon said.
Yolanda’s training was put to the test when Colon smelled smoke and was having difficulty breathing. The service dog quickly hit the emergency button on Colon’s phone.
Emergency responders were on the scene quickly. They managed to put the fire out at Colon’s home, minimizing the damage. More importantly, Colon and Yolanda escaped with minor injuries and fully recovered.
Yolanda’s performance under pressure is impressive, but it isn’t the first time her training has been put to the test.
The Red Paw Emergency Relief team told the Daily Mail that in 2014, Colon tripped and fell unconscious in her apartment. Yolanda called 911 and paramedics were able to treat Colon quickly.
Remarkably, this was the third time Yolanda called the police when Colon was in danger.
But wait, there’s more! In 2013, Colon’s home was burgled by two men in the middle of the night. Yolanda chased them off, growling and barking at them as they ran out of the house.
The two men turned on the gas from the stove before they left, leaving Colon screaming for help and fearing for her life.
“Please, I can’t breathe!” she screamed, according to NBC 10.
But before she had time to be whipped into a panic, emergency responders were already at Colon’s front door. Yolanda called them several minutes before Colon even realized there was a problem.
“I’m her Mommy, and she loves me too much,” Colon says of her wonder-pup.
Both Colon and Yolanda were displaced by the fiery blaze. Yolanda needed to go to a veterinarian to be treated for a scratched cornea and smoke inhalation.
Thankfully her stay at the vet was brief, and the two were reunited at the American Red Cross facility.
While the public is quick to call Yolanda a hero, Colon has a different title for her.
“For you, maybe she’s a hero. But for me, she’s my angel.”
A special bond between Yolanda and Maria. Even more special after Yolanda, the service dog called 9-1-1 when a fire broke out in the pair's home then saved Maria from the flames. See their heartwarming reunion after Yolanda was treated for smoke inhalation. –> http://on.nbc10.com/JRYCrJC
Posted by NBC10 Philadelphia on Friday, August 7, 2015