A Brewster, New York school bus driver didn’t see Audrey Stone crossing the street ahead of him on Monday morning. But, Stone’s service dog, Bigo, a Golden Retriever trained to assist his blind handler, saw the danger and leapt into action, very likely saving her life.
The driver of the bus, which was carrying two children to their kindergarten class that morning, told police he was watching traffic ahead and simply didn’t see the pair crossing the street at the unpainted crosswalk.
While Stone, 62, suffered a fractured elbow, 3 broken ribs, a fractured ankle and lacerations to her head, she is alive and will recover from her injuries – with huge thanks to Bigo who put himself between Stone and the oncoming school bus, taking the brunt of the hit.
“There were 15 EMTs and people all around her and the dog didn’t want to leave her side,” witness Paul Schwartz told The Journal News. “He was flopping over to her and she didn’t want him to get away from her, either. She kept screaming, ‘Where’s Bigo? Where’s Bigo? Where’s Bigo?’ We kept telling her he was fine.”
While Bigo’s own leg was badly injured in the accident, he seemed more concerned with his handler and how she was doing throughout the ordeal.
“The dog was being a good sport, really calm,” Schwartz said. “He sat with me the whole time. He was limping as we put him on a big blanket on the sidewalk and it started to rain. He let us wrap up his leg without any problem. He wasn’t barking or crying or yelping. But he kept pulling toward her. After she was put on a gurney and taken away, he stopped doing that. He seemed a little lost after she left.”
Bigo is undergoing surgery to his leg and will be cared for by family and friends until he can be reunited with Audrey who is recovering in the hospital.