Pastor Ray McCoy of Lampasas and his service dog Excalibur. (Courtesy photo)
LAMPASAS (February 6, 2012)—A service dog named Excalibur that used to be afraid of running water came to the rescue of a Lampasas man who passed out and fell into the bathtub he was filling with hot water.
Pastor Ray McCoy, who suffers from spinal cord tumors from a rare disease that also can cause blackouts, was filling the tub with hot water in which he planned to soak to relieve his chronic pain, the Texas Hearing and Service Dogs organization said in a press release Monday.
One moment McCoy was leaning over the tub as it filled and the next he was awakening from a blackout with the water still running as the black Labrador retriever pulled him out of the bathtub by his ankle.
“With Excalibur’s help, I was able to roll myself out of the tub,” McCoy said.
“Then he fetched my phone for me and I was able to call my wife and son for help.”
The nonprofit Texas Hearing and Service Dogs organization trained the dog for McCoy and one of the focuses of the training was overcoming Excalibur’s fear of running water.
“We think he must have been abused with someone using a hose to spray him with water,” McCoy said.
“My wife and I and our trainer worked a long time to get him more comfortable around it. It paid off. I could have drowned in that tub.””
It’s the second time the dog has come to McCoy’s rescue.
‘The first time Excalibur help avoid a potential life threatening disaster was the day after the trainer moved him into our home,” McCoy said.
“I was at the far end of our backyard, I passed out and fell down the hill on our property. Excalibur raced back to our house and kept flinging himself on our back door until my wife Michelle came out. Then he led her back to me.”
“Excalibur not only helps me do things I can’t physically do,” McCoy said.
“He gives emotional support to my wife. She is more at ease leaving me alone while she is at work knowing that Excalibur is by my side and able to render aid in the event I need it.”
The dog was trained to call 911 by pushing a button on the McCoy’s alarm system in the event McCoy needs help.
Texas Hearing and Service Dogs rescues dogs from animal shelters and trains them to help Texans living with disabilities free of charge.