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Trained Dog Saves Master's Life By Pressing the Panic Button

Update Date: Dec 25, 2012 09:46 AM EST

After a recent report by researchers from Belgium about the usefulness of trained dogs in helping people with excessive daytime sleepiness, there is more evidence to the fact that a dog is a man's best friend.

According to a report in Mail Online, Paul McKenzie, 47, who recently slipped into diabetic coma, was saved by his dog Millie, who was trained to press the panic button.

Although Millie was trained to press the panic button only when McKenzie shouted out "alarm," but in this instance McKenzie was in no shape to do so.

When Millie, who has obviously surprised everyone with her intelligence, found McKenzie on the floor, she pressed the button all by herself.

Pressing the button alerted staff at a 24-hour control center who tried to contact McKenzie, before dialing 999 and alerting his neighbors about his situation.

Mr McKenzie was taken to hospital immediately for medical attention.  

"Millie is my very own Lassie - she saved my life, and if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be here now. She is a lifeline for me anyway - she is specially trained to help me do household tasks, as I have trouble getting about and lifting and carrying things on my own. I can't believe how clever she is. We have trained her to press my emergency button on command, and I often use it to call for help if I've fallen at home and can't get up," the former IT consultant was quoted as saying by Mail Online.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think that Millie understood the consequences of her pressing the button - that help always arrives. The emergency services were amazed when they realised it was my dog who had called for help. She's one in a million - my best friend," he added.

Millie was trained by canine assistance charity Canine Partners, who provide assistant dogs to people with disabilities to help them with day to day life. Millie also helps McKenzie in picking up things from the ground that he can't reach.

As part of her training, the 4-year-old was taught to press the emergency button if Paul got into difficulties, and has done so around ten times in the last two-and-a-half years.

"We train all our dogs in emergency procedures, whether it is fetching help or activating a Lifeline button. Usually the dogs do this on command, but in Millie's case she knew Paul was in trouble and worked out that by pressing the button help would be summoned. We are very proud of Millie," a spokesperson for Canine Partners said, according to the report.

Earlier this month, researchers from Belgium had recommended using trained dogs, quoting the example of a 35-year-old patient who suffered from excessive day time sleepiness. The patient suffered sleep attacks up to six times in a day and would sleep for 16 hours straight.

ith the help of a dog, who wakes the patient in the morning and even during the day while travelling etc, the patient has been finally able to move around independently and efficiently, the authors said.

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