News24

Dog keeps missing man, 82, alive

2011-03-01 13:06

Pietermaritzburg - An 82-year-old man has survived two nights and two days in the open with the help of his pet, a 5-year-old German Shepherd.

Lewis Stone's dog Misha lay on his chest to keep him warm and by day Misha stuck with his master until they were discovered in a steep valley off Oswald Shearer Drive, Wembley, at about 17:00 on Monday.

Stone went missing on Saturday afternoon after he had parked his bakkie opposite the Prestbury police station and took Misha for a walk in the plantations above.

The search began that evening when he did not return home by 20:00, and continued throughout Sunday.

On Monday, family, neighbours and Prestbury police divided into search groups and continued combing the thick bush in the plantation behind the police station off Ashby Road.

Stone’s family had started searching at about 05:00.

Cry for help

As the search continued with no positive feedback by afternoon, someone heard a cry for help in the valley.

Hayley Graves said she had just returned home from work when her father said he could hear a shout for help in the thick bush.

“Our property leads into the valley so I just crawled into the thick bushes, sometimes having to break branches. Since I had read about Mr Stone in The Witness I assumed that it was him calling so I called him back by his surname, urging him to keep shouting so that I could get the direction where he was. I was a bit scared, but I couldn’t turn back.

“A woman from one of the homes around also joined in, shouting for him to keep shouting until I got to him,” said Graves.

She said Stone was quite weak when she got to him and he started talking about his family and that he had been lying there for two nights without anything to eat.

“I held his hand and assured him that help was on its way as I had called the police already. Misha was sitting right next to him. He said at night he would hold Misha for warmth and that the true friend never left his side,” she said.

Paramedics examined Stone before bringing him to safety.

Search party leader Warrant Officer Jack Haskins said he had fallen about 30 metres down the steep embankment.

Miracle


“Given his age and time he spent in the open with no food or water, it’s a miracle that he survived. He’s a strong man and he has a true friend in Misha. He kept him alive,” said Haskins.

When the news came that Stone had been found, his daughter-in-law Alison Stone said: “This is indescribable, it’s a miracle. Our family will never be able to thank everyone for their support during this trying time.”

She said that when Stone was brought up to safety he thanked everyone who was there for their help.

He was taken to Medi-Clinic for treatment of a head injury. The circumstances surrounding his fall are unclear at this stage.
 

Comments
  • SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-01 13:13

    Animals ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Most humans SUCK....)

      Lana123 - 2011-03-01 15:04

      SAFFA-CAT....like like like x 100!!!!!!

      kungfupanda - 2011-03-01 15:31

      Amen!!

      Maryna123 - 2011-03-01 15:41

      So true, animals are worth more than most people...

  • Solo-JHB - 2011-03-01 13:39

    German Shepards are brilliant dogs. Love them to bits.

      Irené - 2011-03-02 10:29

      all dogs/animals are brilliant, animals do not get the credit they deserve.

  • Flee - 2011-03-01 13:50

    Great News... Glad he is well, and a huge big hug, loves and a bone for Misha. She is a true Hero.. Scary that animals are more dedicated and caring than most humans...

      Barry - 2011-03-01 16:05

      Only a bone. He should be taken to a dog parlour and really be treated like royalty and given a half a sheep to eat.

  • Chantelle - 2011-03-01 13:50

    What an awesome story of true love and dedication! We really are lucky to have animal companions in our lives - I only wish that more people didn't take them for granted...

  • CharlSkeptic - 2011-03-01 13:56

    Great, good news for a change

  • Jan - 2011-03-01 14:12

    THose who wave animals away as objects and life forms that are disposable should take good note of this story. Animals are non-human people and display sentiments and a sentience far superior to that of most humans.

  • Natalie - 2011-03-01 14:45

    What a delight to see such a heart- warming story amidst the negative reports around the world. I agree with SAFFA-CAT - Animals rock!!!

  • corro51 - 2011-03-01 15:09

    Well done to the dog! Not sure though that Grandad should be wondering around steep heavily wooded areas at his age. Also ripe for a mugging.

  • Heks - 2011-03-01 15:15

    Misha the hero of the day!!!!

  • Ammie - 2011-03-01 15:22

    Animals are the best! Thank God for them! YES HUMANS SUCK!

      Derryth - 2011-03-02 11:11

      Couldn't agree more Ammie. Humans suck big time. That is why I prefer my animals to people.

  • angeliquelr - 2011-03-01 15:33

    Animals are truly AWESOME and man's true best friend!!! Yes, SAFFA-CAT Animals ROCK!! And then some idiots at roadblocks make them suffer...only in Africa! It's so nice to see such a great feel good story for a change!

  • Curveball - 2011-03-01 15:40

    I love German Shepards but I'm not sure I could finish a whole one.

      karendb - 2011-03-01 16:01

      ....but they may be able to finish a whole one of you!!

  • karendb - 2011-03-01 15:46

    And we dare to call people who behave badly or criminally or cruelly, animals!!! We as humans could learn alot from animals and should strive to be more like animals.

  • Celesté - 2011-03-01 15:46

    Absolutely brilliant, this is why they call dog man's best friend - truer words never spoken. Speedy recovery to both of them.

  • Godesha - 2011-03-01 15:49

    I have tears in my eyes reading this. Animals are more human than humans. Well done Misha, you make the animal kingdom proud and what you did is a confirmation as to why I love animals more than humans.

  • mdebruin2 - 2011-03-01 15:51

    Now THIS is loyalty illustrated!!

  • Spoofed - 2011-03-01 15:52

    GOOD DOG MISHA! I have a German shepherd named Angel. And she genuinely is one. before my gran passed, angel used to follow her everywhere and if my gran went to the bathroom angel would be right there with her, Angel wouldn't allow my gran to close the door =)

      Flee - 2011-03-01 16:43

      My Rotty does the same to the point of aggravation LOL... Cant pee alone, cant uhhummm alone nothing. '-) .. But cause he loves us... Dogs are such stunning creatures... Sorry Barry and a new ball, and rope and and and...

  • Napier - 2011-03-01 16:31

    Well done Misha, now thats unconditional love.

  • pillay010 - 2011-03-01 16:41

    Give that man a Bells - And give Misha a bone and a hug -

      So What? - 2011-03-01 17:55

      Only a bone - how about a great big rump steak!!!!! Dogs truly are mankinds best friend and yet some treat them as of no consequence. Good one Misha.

  • kvl - 2011-03-01 16:45

    Its so heart warming to hear stories like this:) I cannot understand people who don't love and treat their animals for the amazing creatures they are! Truly they are a humans best friend!

  • Murray - 2011-03-01 16:53

    “Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate in their object-relations” Sigmund Freud - We could do with more animals and less humans, well done Misha!

      Madelane - 2011-03-01 18:25

      Indeed Murray and only the human will bite the hand that feeds him.....

  • gilliansan - 2011-03-01 17:08

    Great story - dogs truly are mans best friend - well done Misha!!

  • The Patriot - 2011-03-01 17:11

    May people become the that person their dog believes them to be.

  • xavind - 2011-03-01 17:30

    Good doggie!

  • mlh@24.com - 2011-03-01 17:44

    What a beautiful story! I have more compassion for animals than humans because mankind can be plain evil! My brother has a GORGEOUS, massive boerbull, Hooch, and they adore each other! He has had to work away from home for a week at a time[weekends at home]. Hooch has taken to going into the bathroom, closing the door!![as if to show his absolute dismay at my brother not being there!]. My sister-in-law is constantly having to open the door for him! Animals certainly do rock!!!

  • Misan Thrope - 2011-03-01 19:00

    This is such a lovely story. So very moving. Well done to a beautiful furry friend. I just love all the positive comments as well. For once I could read the commentary without getting wound up. We are actually a nice bunch of people!!

  • Mole71 - 2011-03-01 19:50

    Everyone, click the link below. Top right hand corner there is a button. When you press it a bowl of food is sponsored to various shelters. its free and take a few seconds. keep it open at work, click it a couple times a day and feed those Misha's out there that have been neglected and forgotten about. http://www.barkingmad.co.za/

  • Janine - 2011-03-01 19:59

    Good to see a feel good story for a change.

  • LoveJesus - 2011-03-01 20:27

    Thank the Great and Awesome YHVH Elohim for the wonderful companians He gave us, knowing that we would benifit in all kinds of ways and because we take care of them, they take care of us!

      Ricksta - 2011-03-02 10:39

      Can a good story never be published without someone bringing religion into it ?

  • cialb - 2011-03-01 20:43

    Aw, how wonderful! Dogs love us so unconditionally and are much more intelligent and intuitive than most of us want to believe.They are not "just" dogs. I love this article.

  • phillip.havenga - 2011-03-01 21:02

    And to think of the immense cruelty some people put animals through, all they ask for is our love and in return most will lay down their lives to protect us.

  • mullerestelle - 2011-03-01 21:28

    What a beautiful story! Animals are so much better than most humans. Was reading the story aloud to my husband and found it so emotional had to stop to wipe the tears. Specially dogs are so awesome, wish they could all end up at loving homes that would give them the best treatment possible. Well done Misha!

  • Wishbone - 2011-03-02 00:16

    German Shepherd's rock!

  • Wendy - 2011-03-02 02:57

    WOW. what an amazing story.

  • Susannomore - 2011-03-02 06:27

    Feel good story! Excellent. I know people that wouldn't have stayed to help.

  • Susannomore - 2011-03-02 06:30

    Just before reading this, I read an update from my local SPCA. They have just confiscated a Rotty. The owner left him tied up and abandoned him, i.e. leaving him for dead. When you read a story like this, you can't help but wonder why our dogs love us like they do.

      Flee - 2011-03-02 09:37

      Hi Susannomore, is there a link for that update... Looking adopting another rotty... Thaks

  • A Oosthuizen - 2011-03-02 06:49

    This is fantastic, just show you that your animal do look after you, but then you get other people that does not look after them at all, and dont even worry if they do eat or drink. Well done Misha for looking after your Master, and I agree all animals rock

  • delrayvl - 2011-03-02 08:00

    A very BIG HOORAY and salute to Misha, Hayley Graves and Rescuers, you made me smile.

  • preshengovender69 - 2011-03-02 08:48

    Dogs are better then a Wife

      Flee - 2011-03-02 09:40

      hahaha... Have you heard the theory of how you can find out who loves you more, your wife or your dog... Basically lock both in the boot of the car for a few hours... the one that is happy to see you (wagging its tail) when you open the door is the one that loves you.... wwaahahahah not Like I would do that to the dog you know...

  • Jennifer - 2011-03-02 09:42

    This brought tears to my eyes, but a moving story. I love animals, and adore German Shephards!

  • kleinkoppi - 2011-03-02 11:03

    The reporter had the breed wrong, that's actually a Belgian Shepard, otherwise known as a Malinois (Pronounced - Malinwa). Great dogs and much better than German Shepards.

  • Valkyrie - 2011-03-02 11:14

    I'm a German Shepherd owner and member of the German Shepherd Dog Federation of SA, and this story once again confirms my belief that the GSD is a dog who is loyal to the end. Mr Stone, wishing you and you furry friend many happy days together still.

      kleinkoppi - 2011-03-02 14:30

      Valkyrie, If you a member of the GSD Federation of SA, then surely you would know what a GSD looks like...

      phillip.havenga - 2011-03-02 17:21

      Ai kleinkoppi just relax and stick to commenting about the story instead of looking for kak with people.

  • shana.viljoen - 2011-03-02 11:27

    I live at the entrance of the forest where Lewis and Misha went walking. The story of Misha is indeed a heart warming one, but I want to comment on the human element of this story. When we heard of the incident, to see how the whole community jumped in and helped gives you faith in humanity. There were whole families and cyclists, bikers, and 4x4 enthusiasts, neighbours, friends and strangers all uniting with the common goal of finding Lewis. Well done Hayley for having the courage to investigate the noise you heard. Special credit must go to Jack Haskins and the Prestbury Police - you went over and above the call of duty! Lewis and Misha - we hope to see you walking here soon! A speedy recovery to the both of you

  • shana.viljoen - 2011-03-02 11:32

    We live at the entrance of the forest where Lewis went walking. The story of Misha is a heart warming one, but I want to comment on the human element of this story. When we heard of the incident, to see how the whole community jumped in and helped gives you faith in humanity. There were families and cyclists, bikers, and 4x4 enthusiasts, neighbours, friends and strangers all uniting with the common goal to find Lewis. Well done Hayley for having the courage to investigate the noise you heard. Special credit must go to Jack Haskins and the Prestbury Police - you went over and above the call of duty! Lewis and Misha - we hope to see you walking here soon! A speedy recovery to the both of you

  • jayt612 - 2011-03-02 14:25

    G_ds children. Amazing!!! People can learn from this...! I also have GSD ~ 4 yrs old. They are next level. Thanks for posting such a nice story. Shalom

  • Margaret - 2011-03-02 17:39

    This is wonderful news. What a great answer to prayer. What a wonderful dog! I love the way he has his one foot on the stretcher, as if to say "where are you taking him"? This man is the uncle of a friend of a friend, who had been praying for him after he disappeared. I love good news.

  • margaret.mead1 - 2011-03-02 17:42

    This is wonderful news. What a great answer to prayer. What a wonderful dog! I love the way he has his one foot on the stretcher, as if to say "where are you taking him"? This man is the uncle of a friend of a friend, who had been praying for him after he disappeared. I love good news.

  • 19sukuza91 - 2011-07-21 17:55

    Some day EVERYBODY will understand the loyalty and faithfulness of our beloved dogs, so understood by most! Look into the eyes of a dog to see a soul 100 times bigger than a human. And if anybody tells you otherwise, you can be sure that that human you are talking to has no soul himself!!! Yah for all animals, great and small!

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