For Shane Hoskins and Brax the maltese shih tzu it was love at first schmako, but Shane didn’t realise just how deep the friendship ran until last Tuesday, when his four-pawed pal saved his life.
“Around midday I was doing paperwork and I felt a slight twinge in my chest,” Shane explained.
“At first I put it down to indigestion, but then I realised it was a heart attack.”
Shane, who was trained to recognise the symptoms of a heart attack while working as a triple 0 operator in QLD, wasted no time calling an ambulance.
He then opened the front and back doors and made sure the road was clear for the paramedics.
“I collapsed about eight times waiting for the ambulance, and each time Brax would lick my face until I woke up.
“He kept me conscious and sat right beside me until the paramedics arrived he wouldn’t leave my side.
“I believe he was instrumental in helping save my life.
“The paramedics told me I had a large heart attack, one that would have killed someone less fit than me, so I know I was very lucky to survive.”
Shane was transferred to John Hunter Hospital for a couple of days, before returning to Taree and his faithful friend, Brax.
“The paramedics and staff at the Manning Hospital were just wonderful, I really want to thank them for everything they did, I don’t think they get enough recognition for what they do.
“As for Brax, he is a very fierce guard dog, the most loyal pet I have ever owned.
“He goes everywhere with me, he has his own car seat with a harness. The only place he couldn’t go was the hospital, but he was waiting when I got home.”
Shane is now in the process of nominating Brax for an RSPCA bravery award.
“It’s not only big dogs that should be recognised, he’s my little lifesaver,” he said.
“I actually got him from an elderly client of my lawn mowing and gardening business about four years ago, she couldn’t look after him anymore.
“Even before I had him though, he would follow me around like a shadow when I did her lawn.
“We do everything together, and he eats all the same things as me.
“If I’m having pumpkin soup, he will too. If I have prawns, he gets prawns as well.
“He loves his steak, but it has to be cooked medium rare, he doesn't like it well done, just like me. He’ll eat his veggies too and he loves ice-cream, but only vanilla.”