A few days before Thanksgiving, Boston resident John Miles was out for a walk with his son’s dog, Beagle–Husky mix Lucy, in Beantown’s Dorchester neighborhood when the unthinkable happened — the pair was struck by a speeding car.
Miles bore the brunt of the impact, suffering two broken legs, a broken arm, and more than a dozen different facial fractures. He was sprawled out in the middle of the street, completely helpless.
Despite her own injuries, loyal Lucy took off, desperately trying to find help for her badly wounded person. Witnesses say though Lucy was limping terribly, she made her way to the door of a dentist’s office nearby and barked until she attracted someone’s attention. As emergency crews rushed to the scene of the accident, Lucy returned to Miles’s side to offer some comfort to the unconscious man. She refused to leave him even when paramedics loaded him into the ambulance.
Miles has no recollection of the incident, but was told afterward of Lucy’s selfless actions.
“What I’m being told is she sat there and was crying and everything else, you know because I couldn’t get up,” Miles tells CBS Boston. “That’s the type of dog she is.”
Without Lucy’s persistence, Miles might not have received the emergency medical attention he needed. To Miles and his family, Lucy is nothing short of a hero.
While Miles healed in the hospital, Lucy went home with Miles’s son and daughter-in-law. But with her buddy John Miles nowhere to be found, and the memory of the accident still fresh in her mind, Lucy had a hard time adjusting.
“Seeing Lucy whine in John’s study was heartbreaking as I know she was thinking about the accident and worried for him,” Miles’s daughter-in-law Caitlin remembers.
Lucy’s leg injuries also started to appear worse than originally thought, Caitlin explains.
“Moreover, our initial belief that her injury was superficial proved wrong when she stopped bearing weight on her rear right leg — I knew she had to get to the vet right away,” Caitlin says.
Though she and her husband were still awaiting news on Miles’s condition following the horrific accident, Caitlin rushed hero dog Lucy to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) Angell Animal Medical Center. There, X-rays revealed Lucy was suffering from a torn ligament in her knee, a painful injury that would require surgery — an expensive surgery — to repair.
“This is obviously a terribly sad and worrying time for our family — with my father-in-law facing surgery and months of rehab and our much-loved dog, a hero to all of us, also requiring extensive veterinary care. We’ll do whatever it takes to get her well, of course, as she is everything to us,” Caitlin said in a statement.
Following surgery, Lucy will likely need physical therapy and ongoing treatment, her veterinarians explain. In total, after surgery and aftercare, the Miles family is looking at a bill of at least $5,000 to care for the dog who saved John Miles’s life.
To help offset the cost of Lucy’s necessary treatment, MSPCA-Angell and the Miles family is hoping the public will consider making a donation towards the hero dog’s care.
“Lucy reminds us all of the important role animals play in our lives,” Dr. Meghan Sullivan, the veterinarian who will conduct Lucy’s surgery, tells Boston Magazine. “She’s a true hero to John and her family and to all of us. We won’t rest until she’s back to her active self, enjoying long walks with her family once again.”
As for John Miles, he has made a promise to his canine guardian angel.
“Once the winter’s over, if I’m recovered and Lucy’s recovered you can bet we’ll be out doing our walking again,” Miles says.
To make a donation to help with Lucy’s care, visit the Pet Care Assistance page on the MSPCA-Angell website.