Alert dog and neighbors help save woman's life -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Alert dog and neighbors help save woman's life

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

DOUGLAS, GA (WALB) – A group of neighbors in Douglas saved an elderly woman who fell and was on the ground for days. They may not have gotten to her in time without the help of a neighborhood dog. It was his erratic behavior that alerted them.

The neighbors on Ivy Road always look out for each other. They make sure to keep an especially close eye on Ms. Verdie Hathorne. She's 80 years old, and lives by herself. Neighbors grew accustomed to seeing her outside with her dog Coco. "Most of the time you see her out in the yard raking," said Velvet Long. 

She also takes special care of Jason Long's dog, Bruiser. "He comes over here and she gives him scraps then he goes home," she said.

Bruiser looks out for Ms. Verdie too but on Thursday, Bruiser sensed something was wrong. "We noticed Bruiser running back and forth whining," he said.

Bruiser didn't stop whining for days, "He would continuously whine, and it was because he was trying to tell me to go next door because something was wrong," she said.

It was on Saturday, Long realized something was wrong. "I was out in the yard raking, cleaning up and I noticed him sitting by the fence whining," he said.

Which got him thinking about Ms. Verdie, who he hadn't seen her in a days. So he and the neighbors got together to check inside her home, "I looked in the back door and saw her laying on the floor and my first thought was she was dead," she said.

So while one neighbor held a flashlight, Long broke down the front door, and they realized she wasn't dead, "She was real dehydrated her face was sunk in," said Long. 

EMTs estimate she fell Wednesday night or Thursday morning. "The EMT told us she was lucky to make it another day as bad dehydrated she was," he said.

And now she is on her way to recovery, thanks to Bruiser and her concerned neighbors. But they don't consider themselves heroes..just good neighbors.

Neighbors say the found Ms. Verdie's dog Coco, dead at her feet which also shows just how faithful our furry companions can sometimes be.

After she is released from the hospital, neighbors tell us her family plans to move her up to Tennessee so she is closer to them.

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