Meet Britain’s Bravest Dog
Alaskan Malamute Storm, 12, won the Blue Cross Medal for saving owner Karen Crosby’s life, and saving the family cats from the fire.
Support dog Storm first came to the rescue when burglars broke into 64-year-old Karen’s home in 2019. He chased the thieves from the house, forcing them to drop their stolen stash and alert a passer-by who notified police.
Storm was called in to action again in May this year when a neighbor contacted Karen, who was out, to tell her home was on fire with all of her pets trapped inside. The brave pooch saved the lives of two of Karen’s cats by pushing them out of a window as the house filled with smoke, then calmly waited by the kitchen door to be rescued himself.
One police officer described hero Storm as being “just as good as a trained police dog”. Storm was given the prestigious award on the 125th anniversary of the Blue Cross, an animal welfare charity specialized in helping sick, injured and homeless pets.
The lifesaving dog was chosen from 650 nominations of pets considered ‘heroes’ by their owners.
Owner Karen, from Wavertree in Liverpool, said: “Storm is a hero to me for everything he has done and continues to do.
I’m over the moon that he has won the Blue Cross medal. It was amazing news. I never expected he would win, and I’m so proud of him.” ‘
Storm’s day-to-day life is not as dramatic, but of vital importance to Karen and her partner, Phil, 69, also retired, who suffered two brain injuries and developed epilepsy and vascular dementia. Before moving into care, Phil relied on Storm’s services to help him with his walking and gently nudge him if he wasn’t walking in a straight line.
Storm still does this for Karen, who has degenerative disc disease, little sensation in her left leg, visual field problems and tinnitus. He alerts her to the telephone and the doorbell and helps her cross the road, with further support for her fibromyalgia and asthma, sensing if an attack is imminent and providing comfort and support for Karen.
Karen said: “The fire brigade could not believe how Storm saved two of my cats and trusted that help would soon arrive.
“The police were so impressed. They personally took him down the road to his vet to check (he) hadn’t inhaled the smoke or been harmed. The officer would not leave his side and said he was as good as a trained police dog.”
The Blue Cross medal was first given to a pet in 1940, after a dog called ‘La Cloche’ saved his owner, a French sailor, from drowning. The Blue Cross charity was formed with an aim of helping vulnerable pets and their owners.
Chris Burghes, Blue Cross chief executive, on choosing this year’s winner, said: “We were particularly moved by the number of pets who really do help their owners’ mental health, some even preventing their owners from taking their own lives.
“It was a very close call, but Storm came out on top, he is an amazing pet that has been such a valued member of the family when they have gone through so much.
“Congratulations to him and each and every pet who supports their owners in both day-to-day life and by doing incredible acts like Storm,”, said Burghes.
Produced in association with SWNS.