True Life Lassie Rescues Owner in Lake Tahoe

Saul isn’t only a good boy– he’s also an excellent rescuer. Saul is a border collie who led a search-and-rescue team directly to his injured owner.

The 53-year-old Nevadan had plunged 70 feet down a steep slope in the Tahoe Forest. The fall broke the man’s hip and some ribs. The next day, he managed to crawl his way to a patch of cell service and call for help.

Search and Rescue pinged the location of his last call, while a friend of the victim advised them, “Look for Saul.”

As it turns out, Saul would’ve been hard for the rescuers to miss. While searching the remote country, the black and white border collie ran up to them and began jumping up and down and spinning around in circles.

Saul had run about 200 yards away through the woods to find the Search and Rescue team. And, just like Lassie, led them to his owner. Saul’s rescue of his owner was so quick that the man was airlifted to a hospital within eight hours of when he first called 911.

According to Sgt. Dennis Haack of the Nevada Country Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, “At first, we didn’t believe it because it sounded like a movie. When they came back and described it to us, the reality was that they had followed the dog directly to the victim.” With a smile, Haack adds, “Great work and skill by all involved.”

The team got a helicopter to the scene and transported the man to a hospital for his traumatic injuries. While his owner received treatment, Saul was taken to the nearby town of Grass Valley where he “was given lots of treats and a well-deserved dinner,” Haack said.

Saul was reunited with his very grateful owner the following day.

While Saul’s efforts to aid rescuers to save his owner are invaluable, the expense of emergency medical transportation can still cost thousands of dollars. A Medical Air Services Association (MASA) plan can protect you from catastrophic financial loss when emergencies arise at home or while traveling by covering your ambulance or airlift, regardless of your age or medical condition. Services are paid in full, with no deductibles, co-pays, or dollar limits. MASA provides coverage in all 50 states and Canada. NCRGEA and AMBA make getting a MASA plan easy. You can even sign up online. Learn more at or call 800-956-1228.

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