Dogs are incredible animals. They’re smart and loyal, and always willing to help their owners out when they are in danger. Having a good dog by your side can save your life.
Like one dog, who rescued his owner, a 93-year-old woman with dementia, after she went missing — and got an incredible honor in his home country of South Korea.
Baekgu, a four-year-old dog, had a rough start to life. He was abandoned by his original family, and his new owners took him in after saving him from an attack by another dog, according to The Korean Times.
But Baekgu returned the favor in a huge way recently, when this rescue dog became the rescuer.
Beakgu’s owner is a 93-year-old woman with dementia, and in August she went missing from her home. Her family filed a missing person report and footage showed her wandering off from her village. Hours passed with no sign of her, and everyone was deeply worried about the woman’s safety.
It turned out the elderly woman had fallen unconscious in a rice field, over a mile away from home, and was losing body heat in the cold, rainy weather.
Luckily, she wasn’t alone — Baekgu stayed by her side the entire time, helping to keep her safe and warm.
The dog’s loyalty likely saved her life. Not only did he keep her from succumbing to hypothermia, but he led to rescuers finally finding her, 40 hours after she went missing. According to The Korea Times, a drone’s thermal camera detected the dog, leading them to her location. The drone did not detect the woman’s body heat, because her temperature had dropped.
It’s safe to say that if the woman was on her own, things would’ve ended tragically. Thankfully, Baekgu was there to save the day.
Baekgu was praised as a hero, especially by the woman’s family, who felt the dog was repaying the family for saving him years ago.
“Baekgu especially liked my mother, and it’s as if Baekgu returned our favor,” said Shim Geum-sun, the elderly woman’s daughter, according to CNN. “I was so concerned as mom went missing for hours due to the rainy weather … I’m grateful and Baekgu is our family.”
Baekgu wasn’t just praised as a hero by his family — he got an official honor from the South Chungcheong Provincial Government.
He became South Korea’s first-ever “honorary rescue dog,” a newly-enacted title honoring animals who save lives. Baekgu’s story was credited with inspiring people all over the country.