MOUNT PLEASANT — In August Linda Hermann rescued Taylor, her little shih tzu mix dog.
It was only fair, then, that he should return the favor. You might call it a rescue dog rescue.
Racine-based Northcentral Maltese Rescue took the little dog in from Milwaukee Animal Control in mid-February, said the group’s president, Mary Palmer. He was in miserable shape.
“He was emaciated and covered with burs,” Palmer said. “He couldn’t open his mouth, and one leg was stuck up to his body.”
And, incredibly, some brute had dropped the tiny dog into a portable toilet. Milwaukee Animal Control cleaned him up a bit, but Palmer said, “I had to bathe him over and over again, and blue (chemical) was running out, and his skin was irritated. He was a mess.”
The young dog, estimated to be 3 years old, spent about nine days in rehab at Belle City Veterinary Hospital, 4701 Spring St.
He went to a foster home until Hermann, 61, of Mount Pleasant, adopted him in August. Even then, she said, the pads of his paws were still sensitive from chemical burns.
But the dog that weighed only 6 pounds when found is now up to about 10 pounds, she said, and happy resident of her home.
“He’s so smart,” said Hermann, who works in sales at Ruud Lighting. Among Taylor’s tricks is that when she says, “Bang!” he plays dead.
One Sunday evening last month, while Hermann had company, she went to her bathroom, and Taylor came along. “Taylor follows me wherever I go,” she remarked.
Suddenly, Hermann said, “The roof started to spin, and then I passed out. When I came to, I couldn’t even talk.”
But she’d left the bathroom door in her master bedroom ajar, and Taylor ran out to the guests, stopped and ran back to the bathroom. When they didn’t respond, he did it again and again.
“About the fifth time, he gave a little bark,” she said. “One of my guests said, ‘What’s wrong with Taylor — and where’s Linda?’ ” They went looking, found her and called for a rescue squad.
Hermann spent the next 24 hours in the hospital. She learned she’d had an attack of hypoglycemia resulting in a lack of oxygen to the brain.
She knows her guests would have come looking for her eventually, with or without Taylor’s prompting. But Hermann, who’s fine now, still appreciates his heroism.
“He was playing Lassie,” she said. “He was trying to tell them, ‘My mom is sick; she needs help.’ ”