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"May I always be the kind of person my dog thinks I am"

The Winners


Purina has inducted a heroic Dachshund
into its Animal Hall of Fame.
Here is his story:


Blissfield, New Brunswick    Bree has saved the life of her owner, Michele Gilks, on several occasions. Since joining the family, Bree occasionally wakes Michele in the middle of the night. She sticks her snout into Michele's mouth, licks her face, does anything to rouse Michele from her sleep. Once Michele awakes, Bree settles down. Although puzzled by this bizarre behavior, Michele laughed off these wake up calls, assuming them to be harmless. Bree seems very tired during the day, despite the fact that she is a young dog. Since their veterinarian assured them that Bree was in excellent health, the family assumed she was suffering from lack of sleep due to her strange, nighttime actions and behaviour.

Then one night in September 2011, Bree's odd behaviour reached a fever pitch. Bree stopped at nothing that night to wake Michele frantically digging her paws next to Michele, sticking her snout in Michele's mouth, licking her face and even standing on Michele's chest. This time, however, Michele was difficult to wake up. Suddenly Michele began gasping desperately for air. An overwhelming drowning feeling came over her as she struggled to breathe. Bree's antics also awoke Michele's husband, who immediately called an ambulance. In the emergency room, the medical team diagnosed Michele with a severe case of sleep apnea a potentially life-threatening condition that causes a person to stop breathing during sleep.

The doctor explained that Michele had likely lived with this condition for several years, worsening as she aged. He explained that Michele could have easily died in her sleep from lack of oxygen had she not been woken up when she was. Suddenly, Bree's behavior made complete sense: each time Bree sensed a change in Michele's breathing, she would wake her up, saving her from a potentially fatal episode of sleep apnea. Now that Michele is receiving treatment for her sleep apnea, Bree no longer wakes her during the night. 




Little Current, Ontario     Wrinkles, a nine-year-old Dachshund, attacked an intruder who tried to force his way into the hotel room of his owner, Floyd Lockyer. Leaping from the bed, Wrinkles attacked the man's leg, forcing him out of the room, just before a shot was fired.

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