We picked up Macy when her previous family returned her to the shelter because they wanted a bigger dog, which we couldn't understand—she's so funny and clever. If she leaves a toy in the yard, I'll say, "Macy, don't leave your toy outside." She'll grab it and bring it in.

When my mom got pneumonia, I went to Virginia to help care for her and brought Macy. Mom wasn't an animal person, but Macy followed her everywhere. One night, my mom fell asleep around midnight, and I went to the other bedroom. Around 2 A.M., I woke up to Macy hitting my arm with her paw insistently. I thought she wanted to go outside, but she ran into the hall and stopped in my mom's doorway, refusing to move. I walked in and saw Mom was in distress—it looked like she was having a seizure. Macy jumped on the bed and laid her body completely across my mother. My dad called EMS, who told him to get any pets out of the way, so I put Macy in the family room and set up the baby gate. When EMS came, she tore down the gate to run back to my mom.

At the hospital, I learned that Mom's kidneys had failed, and she'd been slipping into a coma. If Macy hadn't woken her up, the doctors don't know what would have happened. But her recovery has gone well, and I think it's because she feels so protected—and she has Macy's unconditional love.

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