Rescued dog, Tyson, saves rescuer mother

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Tyson with his family: mom, Colleen Jones (right), who he rescued, and Courtney Young, of the Humane Society of Morgan County. Photo by Jesse Walker

By Stephanie Johns
Staff Writer

A dog rescued by the Humane Society of Morgan County, Inc. (HSMC) and adopted by Colleen Jones, a nurse, returned the favor by rescuing Jones last week.

“It’s pretty amazing,” she said. “He’s my little angel.”

The dog, an eight-pound, 11-month old Chihuahua-Dachshund mix – they call him a ch-hotdog – named Tyson, woke up Jones at 4:30 a.m. one morning whimpering.

“He usually doesn’t make noise,” she said. “He’s not a barker or noise making dog.”
At first she thought he needed to go out but then realized she was having trouble breathing.

“My throat was closing and I had hives from head to toe,” she said.

Without Tyson’s help, Jones said she might not have woken up: “Without medicine, an ambulance might not have made it in time. In about two minutes it progressed so fast.”

It turns out that a tape adhesive allergy caused her reaction.

“He literally saved my life,” she said. “Before I even felt something was wrong he knew something was wrong.”

She gave herself rescue medicine she keeps in her glove box, left there in case of a bee sting.
Tyson sat in her lap until her breathing returned to normal.

“I ended up going to the emergency room at St. Mary’s,” she said. “Because of my level of experience and knowledge the doctor felt I could go home.”

On the way home Tyson started his unusual behavior again.

“He did that twice on Friday and twice Saturday,” she said. “He knew something was wrong.”
About five minutes later she again experienced the symptoms from earlier.

“I ended up going to Morgan Memorial’s emergency room,” she said.

At that time she said Tyson was “very clingy.” Now that she’s getting better, though, she said he’s acting normal again.

“He knows I’m OK now,” she said. “I’m better.”

Tyson became a part of the family a couple of months ago, joining Jones, her husband, their seven children, two cats, two sugargliders, mice, a hamster, chickens, and two ducks.

“He loves everybody,” she said. “Tyson gets along with all of them.”

Jones said she and Tyson are working toward being certified so that Jones can take Tyson with her when she visits hospice patients, to offer patients comfort.

Even before this experience, Jones said she loved Tyson to death anyway.

He connected with her daughter, Hailey, during a visit to the HSMC – they were there to donate cat supplies. Also, he sleeps with Jones and travels everywhere with her, she said.

Tyson has diabetes, which, according to Jones, means he needs his medicine, more water, and, subsequently, goes out more.

Because they got Tyson from HSMC, Jones said, “He was like perfect.”

The HSMC already had trained him, given him his shots, regulated his medicines, and socialized him.
Once they got him home, Jones said, “He fit in like he’d been there.”
She praised HSMC for its work.

“It’s wonderful,” she said. “They do a wonderful job caring for animals and finding them a home.”
So wonderful that not only did they get Tyson from HSMC, a neighbor and Jones’ sister also have had successful adoptions from there as well: “All because of Tyson.”

“One special dog can change the lives of so many people,” she said. “Not only that, he saved a life – doggie treats every day.”

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