42: True Angel

42: True Angel

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can't Believe My Dog Did That!

True Angel

It is not known precisely where angels dwell — whether in the air, the void, or the planets. It has not been God’s pleasure that we should be informed of their abode.


Two years ago I adopted a two-year-old Poodle/Terrier mix from our local shelter. I named her Angel. She had come from another shelter as a stray, had been abused, and was very skinny and extremely shy. I fell in love with her immediately.

With lots of love, patience, and socializing with other tenants and pets in my building, she was a totally different dog within a few weeks. We live in a high-rise building on Lake Superior with other seniors and/or disabled tenants. I live alone and have MS, and Angel is a perfect dog for me. We take care of each other. Fatigue and pain are my worst symptoms. On my bad days, if I’m up trying to do things around the apartment, she’ll get on my bed and whine until I go and lie down. She then lies down right beside me.

Ever since I got her, she’s been a wonderful dog. She seems to be grateful for everything and anything I do for her, even bringing me her favorite toy or treat when I’m feeling bad. She is the happiest and most popular dog in the building since she loves everybody. She’s such a good dog — never misbehaves, never snaps or barks at anyone, and she loves to give kisses to everyone she sees in the building.

One night Angel became restless and woke me up at 1:30. I rarely go out late at night since Angel knows how to use a puppy pad when we stay in. But on that night, because of her behavior, I decided to go ahead and take her out since she was whining and seemed anxious. I got dressed and took her out.

I usually take her around to the parking lot side of our building, back by our garage. She was pulling me as hard as she could and whining, so I figured she had to really go and I unhooked her leash.

Instead of going to the grass like she usually does, she ran into the lot between two parked vehicles. When I got there, I found Angel sitting next to one of our tenants who was on the ground lying in a fetal position, his walker nearby. When I leaned down to ask what happened, he could only say he fell. He wasn’t fully conscious, and he only had on shorts and a light jacket — although it was thirty-eight degrees outside.

He said he couldn’t move, that he had recently had surgery on both knees and was in a lot of pain. I feared he might also have broken something. After calling 911, I asked him how long he had been lying on the cold pavement. “About an hour, I think,” he said.

I took off my coat and laid it over the man’s legs and placed my knees under his head to get it off the ground. We stayed like that, with Angel right by him, until the police and ambulance got there.

He was quickly transferred to the gurney, bundled in warm blankets, and was on the way to the hospital. When I told them Angel’s name, they said it was the perfect name for her.

When we got back inside, I realized that Angel had never gone to the bathroom outside. Then I saw that she had gone on her puppy pad prior to us going out.

I have no idea how Angel knew about the man. We’re on the eleventh floor, facing the lake — not the parking lot — with the windows closed and a small fan running.

The next day, I called the hospital and talked to the tenant. He told me that he had suffered a severe heart attack and had no idea why he had been outside by his van at that hour.

I went to see him at the hospital to take him his glasses, which had been found by another tenant, and I also took him a picture of Angel. He kept thanking me, and I told him it was Angel he should thank.

She truly is an Angel.

~Jan Nash

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