A former rescue dog has been named a hero after raising the alarm about her owner's ill-health.
Border collie cross-breed Bindi was adopted from Whangarei SPCA by Dan and Karen Fletcher more than four years ago.
Karen says she has always been a loving and loyal pet but earned her weight in gold a few weeks ago by virtually saving Dan's life.
Dan has been a heart patient for about a year and Bindi sleeps in his room.
One night about 4am he got up and found the world spinning around so he managed to get back to his bed - hitting the walls as he went.
He tried to call out to Karen but was unable to muster his voice loud enough for her to hear him and wake up.
"Next thing Bindi was barking so loudly I thought we had an intruder but as I got to the door I saw Dan sitting on his bed unable to move his right arm or speak properly, trying to communicate with me but unable to.
"I realised straight away he had had a stroke," Karen says.
Bindi must have sensed something was wrong and after looking at Dan for a minute - cocking her head from side to side - she came straight to Karen's bedroom door and gave a loud bark, alerting her to the emergency.
"This dog helped to save my husband's life as the ambulance button was then pushed," Karen says.
St John came very quickly to the couple's Ohaeawai's home to treat Dan.
Karen says they are grateful to Whangarei SPCA for the wonderful pet.
"I was just so impressed when Bindi did what she did - being a rescue dog I thought it was fantastic," she says.
Bindi was found by the SPCA wandering the streets of Whangarei. The Fletchers were encouraged to go to the centre by their son, who paid for the adoption as a Christmas present.
Karen says Bindi was rewarded for her efforts with a big icecream which she loved, eating the cone and all.
Dan is now on the mend from his stroke but Bindi is never far from his side.
- © Fairfax NZ News