Massachusetts Dog Rescues Owner Who Fell Down 20-Foot Embankment

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Niki Cruz via Getty Images)

On Monday, a very good dog rescued his owner from a terrifying situation. It all started when a resident of Northampton, Massachusetts set out for his usual evening stroll at 6:30 PM. He’s 84 years old and has to use a cane to get around, but he never misses his nightly walk around the neighborhood with his beloved dog.

An hour went by, which his wife found rather unusual. His walks typically only last half that time. One hour then melted into two which turned into three. Around 9:30 PM, she breathed a sigh of relief when their dog appeared at the front door. Surely that meant her husband was close behind. Panic rose once again, however, as she realized he was nowhere in sight.

At this point, she called the police. Autumn has officially set in for Northampton, meaning temperatures drop into the 40s after dark, increasing the likelihood of exposure-related issues and illnesses. The dog returning without its owner meant he was out in the cold alone and could be in need of rescue.

Officers rushed to the area and began their search. And within minutes, they located the elderly man. While walking his dog, the man stumbled down a 20-foot embankment and was unable to get back up to the street on his own.

Dog’s Return Home Spurs Police Search and Rescue

Apparently, the dog had stayed by his side for hours while he shouted for help. Eventually, however, the dog ran home, alerting its owner that her husband was in danger. Thanks to the dog’s reappearance, officers were dispatched and rescued the man.

“Today, at approximately 9:30 PM, officers were dispatched to a South Street residence to assist with locating a resident’s missing husband. He had [gone] out to walk their dog at 6:30 PM and usually returns in half an hour. However, the dog had returned home with its leash in tow, minus the owner,” the rescue recount read. “The male is 84 years old, has mobility issues, requiring a cane for assistance.”

After rescuing the man from the embankment and informing his wife and faithful dog of his safety, officers transported him to a nearby hospital. Though he didn’t emerge from the fall completely scot-free, his injuries were minor.

The Northampton Police Department later shared the successful search and rescue story on social media, where it garnered hundreds of reactions and responses, many including the dog in their glowing replies.

“What a smart dog going home for help. The police weren’t the only heroes in that situation. Good job lassie,” one user wrote. “Thank you, NPD! Just adding a quick shout-out to that good dog, that found its way home instead of wandering off. I hope this couple is recovering well from a very scary incident.”