Sanitation worker Kirk White was doing his usual rounds when something grabbed his attention. It was the sound of a dog barking. Nothing about unusual there, but something told Kirk to take a closer look.
A bark for help
And that's when Kirk realised something wasn't right. Speaking to ABC News, he said:
"The way he was barking told me something. He kept looking to the left, like he had something to show me."
Kirk followed the pooch into the house, where he found the elderly owner sprawled out in the floor. 88-year-old Gwendola Johnson had fallen over and couldn't get up again. Miss Johnson wasn't seriously injured, but things could have been worse if it wasn't for her loyal dog Sandy and quick-thinking Kirk.
"[They] certainly came to my rescue," said Miss Johnson.
Miss Johnson adopted 11-year-old Sandy from a rescue centre for strays and thinks of him as her best friend and guardian angel.
But what was it about Sandy's bark that caught Kirk's attention?
The science behind barking
Research shows that each type of bark reflects a dog's internal state. Experiments have found that most people can accurately predict a dog's emotions based on just sound of their bark. It suggests that barking evolved as a way to facilitate better communication between dogs and humans! This idea is supported by the fact that wild dogs rarely (or never) bark.