In the darkness, amid frigid temperatures early Saturday morning, a pair of labradoodles began acting strangely.
It was 4:30 a.m., and Adam and Eva acted like they needed to go outside badly, something that was not normal for the dogs, owners Lonnie and Susan Chester said.
“(Adam) never tugged on my clothes before, so I was a cautious about letting them out because I didn’t know if there was anything out there,” Lonnie said.
Before Lonnie could open the door of their Norvell Township home all the way, Adam and Eva squeezed past and bolted to his truck outside. Next to it was a woman in her late 80s on the ground, freezing with nothing on but a night gown.
“She looked up at me and said, ‘I’m so cold,'” Lonnie said. “I have no idea how long she had been out there. She must have been terrified.”
He picked her up, took her inside the home, put her under some blankets on the couch and called 911.
The National Weather Service recorded a low temperature of 9 degrees for Jackson County at about 5:40 a.m. on Jan. 13, the day this occurred.
“It could have been a tragic outcome had Adam and Eva not woken us,” Susan said. “I don’t know how they knew she was out there.”
Shortly after rescue crews arrived, the woman’s family came to the house and asked if they had found their lost loved one, Susan said. The family was looking for her but did not see her as she was lying in the snow in the near total darkness.
The elderly woman was checked out and taken for medical treatment.
“I’ve got to give 911 major credit because they were here really fast after I called,” Lonnie said.
This was not the first time Susan has had an experience with an elderly person wandering outside into the cold.
Her mother had wandered outside her own Jackson County home about two months ago and is still undergoing medical treatment from injuries she suffered in the incident, Susan said.
“We’re just so proud of our dogs knowing they may have saved a life,” Susan said. “I hope this serves as a wake-up call for everyone, especially with it being so cold out.”