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Man Credits Service Dog And Van Driver For Saving His Life
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 8, 2003

HIGHLANDS RANCH, COLORADO--Bruce Ashworth, 55, says he has his service dog and a van driver to thank for saving his life last week.

Ashworth, a retired engineer who has multiple sclerosis, fell in his bathtub on Friday, August 29. He soon realized he was not able to reach the safety handles to pull himself up and out of the tub.

His service dog, a Labrador Retriever named Libby, brought Ashworth a cordless phone, but the battery was dead.

As Ashworth slipped in and out of consciousness over the next few days, Libby would lick his face to wake him up and would try to entertain him to keep him alert.

On Thursday, September 4, van driver Julie Johnson stopped at the house to take Ashworth to a scheduled appointment. Johnson knocked on the door, but when she only heard Libby barking, she asked a neighbor to phone 911 for an ambulance and then crawled through a dog-door.

When she found Ashworth, he was barely coherent, according to an Associated Press story.

"I am so thankful for this lady," Ashworth said as he recovered from his hospital bed Friday.

Johnson said she was just happy she was able to help.

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