From Rescued to Rescuer: Meet the Pup Who Helped Save a Trapped Neighbor
A dog takes off on his owner—but his escape act saves the day for a neighbor in need
Milo is a rescue dog, adopted by 20-year-old Makayla Swift. But the beagle is also a rescuer. One morning in November 2021, Swift opened her front door and Milo took off running. “I couldn’t catch him,” she says.
Milo ran to the house across the street. He seemed unsatisfied with this house, so he ran to the one next door, Swift on his tail.
“He started scratching on the front door,” Swift says. “I’m thinking, ‘Why is he literally trying to break into her house?’ ”
Swift was embarrassed. Not everyone wants a strange dog on their property. But as she tried to drag Milo away, she could hear a sound coming through an open upstairs window.
It was a voice yelling “Help!”
A neighbor in need
Hours earlier, Sherry Starr had risen from her bed around 4 a.m.
“All of a sudden, standing there between the toilet and the tub, I slipped,” she says. “I went down—hard—on the tile floor.”
Starr is 85. She was stuck.
“I could not move at all,” says Starr, who was wedged between the toilet and the tub. Starr was sore. And she knew she was going to be bruised. But more than anything, she was scared.
“I’m thinking: I’m just going to die here,” she says.
Her best bet, she decided, was to listen for the letter carrier in the afternoon and scream like the dickens. For the next few hours, Starr practiced yelling: “Help! Help! Hellllp!”
“Her voice was very faint,” says Swift. “You had to be right at the front door to hear Mrs. Starr yell for help.”
Unless you were Milo the beagle, who had apparently heard Starr the instant Swift had opened her own front door.
Swift called 911. Paramedics thought they’d have to remove the toilet to dislodge Starr, but they gave one last pull—and out she popped. Though bruised and battered, Starr declined a trip to the hospital.
Sometimes, the dog isn’t the only one who’s rescued.
Get Reader’s Digest’s Read Up newsletter for tips on cleaning, travel and tech, plus humor and fun facts, all week long.