Jenni Viles with Michael Beatty from RSPCA Queensland, who presented the RSPCA Queensland Animal Achievement Award to Lara.
Jenni Viles with Michael Beatty from RSPCA Queensland, who presented the RSPCA Queensland Animal Achievement Award to Lara. Amy Lyne

Family dog dubbed a hero for saving man's life

IF IT wasn't for hero dog Lara, Geoff Allen would not be alive today.

That is, according to Lara's owner Jenni Viles and the RSPCA, which yesterday awarded the pooch a special Queensland Animal Achievement Award.

Geoff had been visiting Jenni at her home in Churchable in the Lockyer Valley earlier in the year when he, still for unknown reasons, collapsed.

Jenni said she had gone into her shed to do some work when six-year-old Borzoi Lara came running in.

"She barked again and again and I followed her and she looked over her shoulder to see I was coming," she said.

"I walked around the corner and Geoff was on the ground and I could see Lara standing over him, barking at him and I ran over and I saw Geoff couldn't breathe properly.

"He had a glazed look and was making funny noises in the throat and I started doing CPR and he started coming around."

Jenni said, after being involved with dogs for more than 40 years, she had never seen a dog do what Lara did.

"She never barks, she doesn't even bark at strangers," she said.

"For her to do that is unbelievable."

When Geoff returned to the property after he had recovered, Jenni said Lara went straight to him for a pat and a cuddle.

"I just couldn't be more proud of her," she said.

Michael Beatty from RSPCA Queensland said what Lara did was remarkable because it was totally out of character.

"She doesn't normally bark and here she is suddenly doing something she doesn't normally do, she obviously knew that something was seriously wrong, there is no doubt about that," Mr Beatty said.

"I think they (dogs) have got more of a sixth sense that makes them connect with humans."

Mr Beatty said the state achievement was awarded about every two years.


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