'Teka rewarded for starting Jim's ticker
TWO years after saving the life of Maryborough man Jim Touzeau, 'Teka the extraordinary Australian cattle dog has been officially recognised.
The incredible story of 79-year-old Mr Touzeau and his furry friend came to the attention of the RSPCA's Michael Beatty a couple of weeks ago.
He decided straight away 'Teka, Mr Touzeau's loyal pet of more than three years, would be honoured with a special animal achievement award for her life-saving actions in June 2007.
“My heart had stopped,” Mr Touzeau said.
“I had no warning, no pain. I fell on the floor by my work bench, cutting myself very badly.
“I came to to find 'Teka on my stomach barking in my face with her paws thumping against my chest.
“I can't claim that 'Teka was trying to resuscitate me but what I do know is that the dog was definitely trying to wake me up.”
The story doesn't end there - when Mr Touzeau was able to get up and call his son to tell him he'd just suffered a major heart attack, 'Teka took her intelligence even further.
Mr Touzeau said 'Teka started jumping up and down in the back yard to alert the neighbours.
“If it wasn't for her I reckon I'd have died. I'm sure there are other animals out there that have done something like this, but I think she's one of the most incredible dogs in the world.”
Mr Touzeau was later told by doctors his heart had stopped. He has since had a defibrillator implant placed in his chest.
Yesterday the RSPCA presented 'Teka with a plaque and a big, juicy bone at Mr Touzeau's Tinana home.
Mr Beatty said the animal achievement awards “weren't given out lightly”.
“We think they are very significant. We've only given four awards in the past six years.”
He applauded Mr Touzeau's friend Irene Smith for sending the RSPCA a clipping from the Chronicle about the amazing story.
Ms Smith, who has known Mr Touzeau for several years, said the “very well respected” resident was lucky to have a friend like 'Teka.
Doctor Linda Marston, a psychology researcher at the Monash University in Victoria, said the case was a “lovely example of the human animal bond”.
“While I'm not sure whether 'Teka is gifted in cardiac resuscitation, I do believe she's gotten agitated and tried to provoke a response out of Jim.”
Related: Heroic dog to receive reward.
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