Heroic Husky Saves a Man Stranded with a Broken Hip

Gunner, an adopted Husky, is loving, smart, and protective of his family pack. When Laura’s dad fell on an icy day, Gunner was there to get help.

Laura + Gunner

An adopted Husky named Gunner kept life exciting for his family: stealing cookies, and showing off his reasoning skills. When Laura’s dad took a fall on an icy day on the farm, Gunner successfully brought rescuers to his side.

"In a scene straight out of Lassie, Gunner ran back and forth to the farmhouse until workers noticed what he was doing. He led the workers straight to my dad, and they were able to call for help."

We don’t know much about Gunner’s life before our family. We know he was originally from New York City and had been left at a kill shelter. We know he was rescued by CARE of Dutchess County, and that’s what led him to us.

Our family has had dogs before, but never a Husky. And Gunner is as typical as a Husky can get. He is stubborn, high energy, and he sheds like a monster. His striking blue eyes and white coat get him noticed wherever he goes—he’s beautiful and he knows it. He is also a loving member of our family pack, and he loves being with his people. He also loves his other rescue brother, Tucker, although Tucker is sometimes less sure in his love for Gunner. Gunner is very smart and has proven this on multiple occasions. He has stolen entire batches of cookies, gotten lost on the rail trail and found his way back to the car, and even tried to contribute a dead bird to Thanksgiving dinner. Life with Gunner is certainly never boring.

In December of 2019, my father took Gunner on a walk behind a neighbor’s farm. My father, who is currently battling stage 4 cancer, does not own a cell phone. This December morning was particularly icy, and my dad fell and broke his hip. He was unable to call for help and was unnoticeable on the remote farmland, so Gunner sprang into action. In a scene straight out of Lassie, Gunner ran back and forth to the farmhouse until workers noticed what he was doing. He led the workers straight to my dad, and they were able to call for help. Gunner also stayed with my dad, guarding him until my mother arrived with an ambulance.

Once he saw my mom, Gunner hopped in the car, knowing his job was done.

Over a year later, my dad’s hip has recovered. His most recent scans for cancer have been clear, which is great news for our family. Gunner is just as protective as ever, but usually over a chewy treat. When he goes for walks on the farm, he holds his head high. The neighbors all point him out as “the hero dog,” and praise him for his intelligence. But Gunner probably just thinks this is the recognition he rightfully deserves… he is a Husky after all.

Gunner has brightened all our lives. From saving my dad, to lounging on glass tables, to begging for peanut butter treats and lounging in the sunlight, he has become the dog that completed our family. His quirky personality makes him even more lovable, and we can’t imagine our lives without him. Gunner has brought us many laughs and much joy over the years, and we look forward to many more with him by our side.

Each year, Petco Love Stories invites adopters to share how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Laura won Compassionate Animal Rescue Efforts of Dutchess County in Wappingers Falls, New York a 2021 Love Stories award.