‘Hero’ dog saves owner’s life after she was hit by car
IPSWICH couple Shaune Martin and David Symes will forever be grateful they picked out 'hero' dog Max from his litter.
The incredible actions of the two-year-old Siberian Husky were credited with saving Ms Martin's life after she was hit by a car.
She could not be seen from the road and if it wasn't for Max's timely intervention, medical staff believe she would have died.
Max ran 200m back to the couple's Augustine Heights home, covered in his badly injured owner's blood.
Mr Symes, starting to worry about his fiancé's whereabouts after she failed to return from an afternoon walk, grabbed hold of the dog's lead and was pulled straight to the scene of a car crash on Cardena Dr.
Ms Martin lay out of sight, but Max made sure she was found.
"I was looking around but he was just pulling me straight back to where she was," he said.
"As we got closer to where she was laying he got really traumatised and sat and curled up."
She was hidden from sight, pinned up against a retaining wall with a tree on top of her that had been knocked over by the car.
The vehicle ended up on its roof 100m away.
He was approached by police responding to the crash, who found Ms Martin after they heard a groaning sound.
Medical staff later said Ms Martin would have died if she was left waiting another 15 minutes.
"If Max hadn't gone to get help I wouldn't be here," Ms Martin said.
The 26-year-old suffered horrific head and facial injuries and had severe fractures to her arm, neck, pelvis and hip.
She spent 27 days in a coma in intensive care at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, before another 44 days in the brain injury rehabilitation unit.
Ms Martin underwent an 11-hour surgery on her face.
She is doing a strict rehabilitation program from home with regular visits to the hospital and has shown tremendous resilience in her recovery.
Mr Symes said she was exceeding expectations.
"There's still a very long way to go," he said.
"She's got a lot of complications in a lot of areas.
"They didn't expect her to be out this early. They didn't expect her to be walking by February.
"She's smashed everything asked of her so far."
The pair, who will get married in April, got Max 20 months ago.
"We were on the waiting list for a while," Mr Symes said.
"He was our first pick out of the preference of the litter we got. It was a good pick.
"He's very cheeky but very smart.
"He won't go back to the site (of the crash). When walking now he's very scared of incoming vehicles, particularly large trucks."
Max received the RSPCA's Animal Hero Award, complete with a large bone.
Senior constables Piers Dickson and Will Pattie from the Springfield Police Station were the two police officers first on the scene.
"On arrival we just saw the car there," Snr Cst Dickson said.
"We drove up there and came back down the road. That's where we saw David and Max.
"He said 'my partner is missing and my dog has come back covered in blood'.
"We've gone down to the scene, looked around the car and couldn't find (Shaune).
"As I walked past the tree, the tree groaned at me. We moved the tree and that's where we found Shaune. From then on it turned into a blur really. We stayed with her until the ambulance arrived."
Snr Cst Dickson has remained in regular contact with the couple.
"Dogs are very intuitive," he said.
"I've heard of (similar incidents) before.
"They know what's right and what needs to be done.
"We're just very glad (Shaune is) so strong. She's making a remarkable recovery."