NORTH YORK, ONTARIO
Mochashon’s Corey Troy, known to most as Corey, is a 14-year-old former Best of Winners show dog. A classic miniature Schnauzer, Corey is an intelligent, perceptive and determined dog – and he also demonstrated his life saving abilities last May 10th, 2007.
Out on his daily walk with owner Jay Sobel in the Willowdale district of North York, Ontario, 14-year-old Corey was heading along his usual route. As a fairly stubborn Schnauzer, Corey is quite particular about his daily walk and doesn’t like to vary his course. It was a beautiful day with lots of activity and neighbourhood noise – kids yelling in the playground at the nearby school, and a man down the block mowing his lawn. As they walked along, Jay thought he heard someone calling but thought nothing of it. Fully expecting Corey to take the next left to continue on their walk, Jay was surprised to find Corey pulling him determinedly down the sidewalk in the other direction. When they’d gone about 200 yards, Corey slowed long enough for Jay to pick up the faint sound of someone faintly yelling “HELP ME! I CAN’T BREATHE! I CAN’T GET OUT OF THE POOL!” Jay and Corey headed up the easement between two houses and peered over the fence, where he saw an elderly man struggling to hang on to the side of the backyard pool. He was in the deep end and Jay could see blood on the pool deck.
Jay quickly tied Corey to the fence and entered the backyard. Trained in first aid, Jay assessed the situation as best he could. He learned the man was 80-year-old Jack Turner, and was home alone. He had no broken bones but not being a strong swimmer and having chronic emphysema, he was unable to lift himself from the cold water, where he’d been for at least 20 minutes. Jay leaned over and carefully lifted Jack out of the pool, helping him to a deck chair and tilting his head back to ease his breathing. He asked Jack about an inhaler but it was at the bottom of the pool, and Jay would have to get another one from inside the house. Knowing animals can help to calm people, he brought Corey inside the yard and tied him up close to Jack to keep him company. Jay called 911 and the ambulance arrived to deliver oxygen and take Jack to the hospital, where he was treated for a mild heart attack, hypothermia, scraped hands, as well as his aggravated emphysema.
Later, it was determined that the Turners’ grandson had removed the pool cover the previous week to prepare to open the pool. Jack had gone to inspect the pool while his wife was out, when he fell in. It is unknown whether a heart attack caused him to fall in, or whether he suffered the heart attack while in the pool. Weighed down by his wet jeans and shoes, he was not able to lift himself out of the freezing cold water, nor strong enough to swim to safety. He had completely ripped the flesh off his hands trying to climb out of the pool, and was starting to lose hope until Corey’s keen ears heard his cries for help and led Jay right to the house.
The Turners, who have lived in their house for 43 years, decided to fill in the pool this past fall because of the accident. Married for 58 years, Jack and Georgina Turner eagerly await Corey’s visit on his neighbourhood walks with Jay. Often if the Turners are sitting on the front porch, Corey, a senior dog, will struggle up the steps just to check in on Jack and enjoy a friendly pat on the head. Corey is truly Jack’s hero.