US dog gets national hero award

2012-05-08 12:00
Debbie Zeisler with her 45kg Shiloh German shepherd named Bear. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles/ AP)

Debbie Zeisler with her 45kg Shiloh German shepherd named Bear. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles/ AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Los Angeles - Three years ago, Bear was a 45kg Shiloh German shepherd nobody wanted at a Texas shelter.

Debbie Zeisler came to his rescue. She has lost count of the times since then that he has come to hers.

On Monday, Bear was honoured with the 30th National Hero Dog award by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles.

Last May, Zeisler had a seizure, fell down some steps, hit her head and lost consciousness in her front yard. Bear scratched on every front door in their Millsap neighborhood but nobody answered. A Parker County animal control officer saw the frantic dog and went to help. Bear led the officer to Zeisler.

As a by-then conscious Zeisler was being loaded into an ambulance, Bear did not hesitate to jump in with her and accompany her to the hospital.

The dog recognises the signs of imminent seizures and will lean on Zeisler's legs so she can sit down before they happen, explained the society's Ana Bustilloz.

Love at first sight

Bear never had any training, but three days after Zeisler took him home he started alerting her to possible problems. "He figured it out on his own," Bustilloz said.

The sometimes daily seizures started after a horse riding accident 18 years ago.

Zeisler said she initially went to the Weatherford Animal Shelter to get a German shepherd for her mother. When she asked about shepherds, she was told they only had one, but he was in the back because nobody wanted him.

They brought out the dog and it was love at first sight, she said.

Zeisler has fallen a couple of times when she didn't heed Bear's warning. The dog will fetch her medicine or stay with her, whichever she seems to need, she said.

As National Hero Dog, Bear gets free dog food for a year, the trip to California for him and Zeisler, a stay at an oceanfront hotel in Huntington Beach and a plaque.

The ceremony honouring Bear was held at the Nokia Plaza in downtown Los Angeles.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    us  |  animals publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Georgia hold on to beat Nambia
As it happened: Namibia 16-17 Georgia
Ratings: Habana thrives in rout
Meyer hails Habana
Traffic Alerts

Relationships and significant connections may play an important role in your day today. Let the warmth of the Leo moon inspire more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.