BEASLEY
Paul T. Erickson  /  TRI-CITY HERALD
Leana Beasley of Richland, Wash., sits near her service dog, Faith, on Thursday at her home.
updated 10/29/2004 7:43:39 PM ET 2004-10-29T23:43:39

Leana Beasley has faith that a dog is man’s best friend.

Faith, a 4-year-old Rottweiler, phoned 911 when Beasley fell out of her wheelchair and barked urgently into the receiver until a dispatcher sent help. Then the service dog unlocked the front door for the police officer.

“I sensed there was a problem on the other end of the 911 call,” said dispatcher Jenny Buchanan. “The dog was too persistent in barking directly into the phone receiver. I knew she was trying to tell me something.”

Faith is trained to summon help by pushing a speed-dial button on the phone with her nose after taking the receiver off the hook, said her owner, Beasley, 45, who suffers grand mal seizures.

Guided by experts at the Assistance Dog Club of Puget Sound, Beasley helped train Faith herself.

The day of the fall, Faith “had been acting very clingy, wanting to be touching me all day long,” Beasley said Thursday.

The dog, whose sensitive nose can detect changes in Beasley’s body chemistry, is trained to alert her owner to impending seizures.

But that wasn’t what was happening on Sept. 7, and Faith apparently wasn’t sure how to communicate the problem. During Beasley’s three-week hospital stay, doctors determined her liver was not properly processing her seizure medication.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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