When Maria Colon woke up on the night of August 5, she could hardly breathe. Her house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania had caught on fire. As Maria’s lungs filled with smoke, she shouted to her service dog, a yellow lab named Yolanda, “Danger! Danger!” Maria, who is blind, had practiced this word with Yolanda every day, teachng her how to respond. Maria had a special phone with a button that Yolanda could push to dial 911. With all that training, Yolanda knew just what to do. Rushing over to the phone, she called 911 and then led Maria safely out of the burning building.
This is not the first time Yolanda has come to the rescue. Last year, Maria fell in her house, hit her head, and was knocked out by the blow. When Maria didn’t wake up, Yolanda called 911 and waited till emergency responders arrived. And in 2013, Yolanda proved her worth too...
Maria awakened one night to hear strange voices on the floor below. Burglars had broken into the house! Beside her bed, Yolanda was awake too. The dog got up and went out of the bedroom, closing the door behind her. Barking and growling, Yolanda chased the burglars out of the house. But for some reason, the burglars had turned the gas on. Gas fumes began to fill the house. Quickly Maria called the police. They were on their way, she was told. Someone had already called! Without any direction, Yolanda had chased the crooks away and then called the police. Now that’s a smart dog!