Koume, a 5-year-old colt, received an official letter of appreciation from the local fire department at a special ceremony last month for her brave work at a riding club in Wakaba-ku, Chiba City.
According to the riding club, a 50-year-old man collapsed in the riding park on February 25. Koume, a usually placid puppy, raised the alarm with her barking, which then allowed humans to rush to the man’s aid.
“Koume is usually quiet and only barks in rare circumstances,” said Yuna Maruo, a 23-year-old riding instructor who participated in the man’s rescue that day. “But when there’s an emergency, Koume barks.”
“Koume’s call for help and the actions of the staff were a perfect response,” a fire department official said.
According to the club, Koume’s barking allowed staff to quickly call an ambulance and paramedics used an automated external defibrillator on the rider in time.
Since then, the man has returned to riding at the club.
The club said it hired female canines as “mascots” to welcome members across generations.
According to Maruo, Koume previously drew attention to a horse that tried to escape the enclosure by jumping a fence and when another old horse had difficulty standing on its own.
Koume grew up under the care of another puppy named Ume, who Maruo believes helped teach her how to ask for help in a crisis.
Koume’s mentor has since passed away, but the riding instructor said, “Ume must be happy in heaven.”
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