Baby - a hero

This photo shows Baby, a Great Dane dog owned by Elwood Cardon wearing a homemade "Hero" medal. Baby later ate the "Hero" medal her owners' family members made.

“It’s amazing. I didn’t think she could reason like that,” 82-year-old Elwood Cardon said. “When she was a pup, she tore into everything. She was ‘that damn dog.’ Hell, now I would set a place for her at the table.”

Mr. Cardon was going home after staying with his daughter for several month undergoing treatment for terminal colon cancer when he got disoriented and drove his SUV off a snow covered remote mountain road. He wound up hanging upside down, pinned against the steeling wheel, the SUV wedged between two trees 20 foot down a hill off the road.

He prayed to God to take his life, his spine was cracked, he was freezing and there was no one around nor was there likely to be anytime soon.

His 5 year-old Great Dane, Baby, was with him and she wasn’t about the let that happen. She licked him, cuddled with him and kept him warm and several time ventured out the broken passenger window. Mr. Cardon didn’t know it at the time but Baby was looking for help, trying to get someone’s attention.

About 10 hours after the accident Baby did get someone’s attention, a homeowner that didn’t live too far away. Running back and forth, Baby got the woman to finally follow her to where the SUV went off the road. When she saw the vehicle she called 911 and got help.

Mr. Cardon was rescued and taken to the hospital where he spent six days then was allowed to go home with a neck brace and walker.

Michelle Taylor, EMS Captain for La Cueva Fire Department, said Cardon was on a remote road and would probably not have been found in time if Baby had not alerted the neighbor.

“It was in an area that was not heavily traveled. There are only a couple residents in that area, and only one that lives there full time,” Taylor said. “We would have eventually found him, but the dog certainly saved his life.”

Mr. Cardon just wanted to go to his mountain home in Jemez Springs when he snaked out of his daughters home, fed-up with the surgeries and treatments for cancer. He wanted to die in the home he loved, not on some snowy mountainside. Little did he know that he had his own guardian angel with him in the form of a four-legged furry dog.

Every time I hear someone say “it’s just a dog” this is the kind of story I want them to hear about.  Mr. Cardon most likely would have died on the snowy, freezing mountainside in Albuquerque if it hadn’t been for his loyal and devoted canine companion, Baby.

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