Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. A show in its second season called Pet Heroes has validated that belief. CMT (Country Music Television) launched a new series last year that has been getting rave reviews from its viewers. That show came west recently to talk to a local family who had a dog who was definitely a hero.
Ally Myers was at school when she was asked to come to the office. “I don’t know how to ask you this,” said staff administrator Sharon, “but were you attacked by a deer when you were four?” Myers said she was taken aback by the question. “There’s a TV show looking for you,” Sharon continued.”
“I was shocked,” said Ally. “I’m sixteen now…that was 12 years ago.”
The whole deer incident began when little Ally went for a walk with her grandmother Norma along the Similkameen River in June of 1999. The walk started off like many before with Norma’s Cocker Spaniel Holly running off ahead. On this particular trip it was Ally who took the lead. She was skipping along the trail full of four year old energy when a deer poked its head through the fence, came through and started trotting towards her. It was immediately aggressive. “It reared up on its back legs,” said Norma “and started heading at Ally. I yelled and I think the tone of my voice really shot Holly into action.” Holly moved between the attacking deer and Norma’s granddaughter with lightning speed. “I yelled, Ally run to the river,” said Norma. “Holly jumped right at the deer.”
Holly’s quick action may very well have save Ally’s life. The deer pounded down on Holly damaging her one eye badly and crushing her one leg. The fierce little dog was no match for the much larger mammal.
Norma had no weapons on her. All she had in her hands was a bottle of pop. “All I could think of was to shake up the pop and spray it at the deer,” she stated. “As it sprayed out thankfully, the deer backed up and ran away.”
Norma waved down a truck passing by and was able to ask for help to get her frightened granddaughter and injured dog back to her car. “Then, we stopped and used the phone at the Petro Canada service station and left a message for my daughter Heather at home about the accident and our destination, called the veterinarian in Penticton to warn them of our plight and told them we were on our way and drove off.”
“The fellow who helped me said, “lady your dog is in really bad shape,”” Norma continued. “I was really scared for Holly.” Part way to Penticton, Holly was quiet and fearing the worst, Norma stopped at a friend’s and asked her to check on her injured pet. “I just couldn’t bring myself to do it,” Norma explained. “I was scared of what I might find.” The friend informed Norma that Holly was still alive so off they went again. Dr. Harvey in Penticton got to work on Holly as soon as the family arrived with their little furry hero. Despite attempts to save Holly’s eyesight in her one eye, it turned out to be impossible. Holly became a one-eyed hero at the age of thirteen. Holly’s heroism did not go unnoticed. Soon she was inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame. Norma, Ally and Holly were flown to Toronto for the award ceremony and treated to the royal treatment, limousine and all. The story went international and was picked up by media as far away as Japan and Korea. The trio appeared on Canada AM and the National.
All this happened a long time ago. The Myers beloved aging pet Holly passed away three years after the attack, so it was some surprise when the call came in for the family to take part in Pet Heroes.
“It was pretty random,” noted Ally. “We connected with Corkscrew on the Wednesday and on Saturday we were doing interviews.”
Blake Horobin and Mike Sorel from Corkscrew Media in Calgary flew out for the occasion. They capture these real life stories all over North America. “Most of the heroes are dogs,” stated Blake, “but we have had a pot-bellied pig, a horse and some other animals as well.” Corkscrew Media picked up on the story from an article that ran about Ally regarding her efforts to earn her way to the Duke of Edinburgh award. “We interview the real life victims, take film footage and re-enact the incident later in studio,” stated Horobin.
Past episodes of Pet Heroes include a cow attack, a moose attack, a cougar attack and all sorts of life threatening situations. In each episodes, a real life pet has come to the rescue of the victim saving their life. When asked how they make footage of an attack, Blake answered, “It’s all about TV magic. There is something about these stories that people love. Our little friends are heroic and it is nice to be able to give them recognition.”
Mom, Heather Myers, has found the whole experience to be really quite fun. “At the time when the deer attack occurred, Ally was completely traumatized,” stated Heather “and mom was a mess. Now years later, it is kind of neat to be remembering Holly in this way. Our neighbour Otto was great to open up his place to us for shooting and Holly she is still our hero. She saved Ally. We will never forget what she did that day.”
The show is scheduled to air in February of 2012. Watch future papers for the announcement date. “I will be sure to let everyone know,” said Heather. “It will be really kind of neat to watch. Pet Heroes is a good show.”