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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — An Indiana man confined to a wheelchair says he owes his life to the same dog he once rescued.
Don Fisher rescued Auggie, a golden retriever mix, from a local shelter nearly a year-and-a-half ago.
Auggie and his litter had been abandoned.
“Threw him in a dumpster. Him and his brothers and sisters,” explained Fisher.
Last week Auggie returned the favor when Fisher says the dog saved his life.
Fisher is confined to a wheelchair after his legs were amputated for diabetes.
The 75-year-old went outside in his wheelchair early Friday morning to get the paper.
Auggie, as he usually does, followed.
When Fisher tried to turn around, he realized his wheelchair was stuck in the snow.
Fisher was stuck outside in freezing cold temperatures with no protection other than a sweatshirt and sweat pants.
“I was stuck. I was hopelessly stuck,” Fisher said. “Anybody wonders where the end’s going to come and I thought that would be it. I was in total despair. Total despair.”
Fisher said he knew he had only one shot at help: Auggie.
“He looked at the chair and he looked at me and I said, ‘Go get Mark’,” Fisher recalled. “I saw that was my only chance and I said, ‘Go’ and he went. He’s never done anything like that in his life.”
Fisher’s son Mark was asleep inside, but Auggie woke him up.
“He barked at me a couple times, which is something Auggie doesn’t do,” Mark Fisher said. “For him to bark at me was an indication that something was wrong. Very wrong.”
Then Auggie ran to the door and came back to Mark, still barking.
“He was very agitated, very antsy, that I needed to get up,” said Mark.
Auggie never stopped until Mark finally followed him outside and found his dad stuck in the snow.
“Without a doubt he saved my life. There’s no question at all and I think he’d do it again,” said Fisher.
It didn’t take long for Auggie’s rescue story to get around the neighborhood.
Someone even sent him a tag that says “Hero.”
“You’re eating this up, aren’t you big boy?” Fisher asked Auggie.
As for eating, these days, Auggie gets whatever he wants.
“As soon as we can find one, he’s getting a big ham with a bone in it. That’s for sure,” said Fisher.
He says it’s the least he can do for a dog that’s more than earned the title “Man’s Best Friend.”