A Glendale city employee was on his routine trash collection route on July 10 when he noticed Sandy, a dog, was not sitting at its usual window spot.
“This time she was sitting outside so I knew something was wrong,” said Kirk White of Glendale Integrated Waste Management.
Around the side of the house, Sandy’s owner, 88-year-old Gwendola Johnson, was on the ground. She had tripped and fallen on the porch an hour earlier and was unable to call for help.
Johnson was able to see White pulling in her trash cans like he normally does, but he wasn’t able to see or hear her.
“When I saw him, I said to Sandy, ‘You go get him,’ so he did,” she said.
Security camera footage from the home shows Sandy approaching White and barking, indicating he had something to show him.
Sandy then led White right to his fallen owner.
“She was on the floor, unable to get up,” White said. “I know it was very hot that Friday… seeing someone in the sun, that wasn’t right at all.”
He helped Johnson up and made sure she wasn’t injured.
“We all cried when we saw the video. Sandy did a good job,” Johnson’s granddaughter Cheryl Malvar said.
Malvar says there are two heroes in the incident.
“Kirk actually made an effort. Not everybody does. He investigated and he was aware enough to know it was off,” she said. “We love him. He’ll always have friends here.”
White says he thinks anyone in that position would do the same.
“Just helping another human, that’s what we’re supposed to do,” he said. “After this, I was thinking I want a dog like Sandy. We can learn something from animals.”