These Maine Dogs Are Heroes

Dolly Pawton and Aura earned a round of a-paws at an American Humane Society awards show.

Dolly Pawton and her owner Amy Sherwood
Photograph courtesy of Amy Sherwood
By Joel Crabtree

Dolly Pawton

BREED: Black Lab
AGE: 4
OWNER: Amy Sherwood, who has medical conditions that can cause her blood pressure to plummet or heart rate to spike
SKILL: Sensing changes in blood pressure or heart rate before Sherwood realizes it — also, pressing a button to dial 911 if Sherwood loses consciousness
FAVORITE ACTIVITY: Diving off docks in the summer
FAVE TOY: Anything tossed into the water
FAVE TREATS: Dunkin’ Munchkins and yogurt
SHERWOOD SAYS: “I could be in bed for weeks because I was so sick, and Dolly wouldn’t leave my side. Then, on good days, she’ll play and we’ll have a good time. She adapts really well to how I’m feeling.”

Aura, a Golden retriever–Lab mix
Photograph courtesy of Gretchen Evans


BREED: Golden retriever–Lab mix
AGE: 7
HOMETOWN: Brunswick
OWNER: Army vet Gretchen Evans, who lost her hearing in a mortar blast in Afghanistan
SKILL: Alerting Evans to everyday sounds, whether a doorbell, a smoke detector, or a telephone ring
FAVORITE ACTIVITIES: Hiking and canoeing with Gretchen
FAVE TOY: Stuffed shark
FAVE TREATS: Raw carrots and Pup-Peroni
EVANS SAYS: “She’s changed my life. She took me from being in a state of despair and feeling limited — like my disability was a big disqualifier in life — to, I don’t even consider myself a Deaf person any- more, because Aura hears for me. I have ears, it’s just got four paws and she’s furry.”