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GIRL RISKS HER LIFE FOR HORSE
By Tanya Giles
(extract from Melbourne Herald-Sun)

A selfless teenager told yesterday how she risked her life to save an injured horse trapped in a burning truck.

Horse lover Julie Edge, 15, said firefighters warned her the truck could explode at any moment because of leaking gas but she chose to stay inside to nurse the horse.

Julie sat in complete darkness with Diamonds' head in her lap as firefighters battledthe blaze burning underneath her.

She revived the horse by hitting him every time he slipped into unconsciousness and giving him water to ease his dehydration.

When the weak horse finally struggled to his feet, the brave girl helped him out of the death trap.

Julie said she did not think she was a hero. "I didn't really think at the time of the dangers, I just knew that I would rather die than see a horse burn to death," she said. "I just wanted to do all I could."

Julie, a dressage eventer, said the drama began about 5.30 pm on Sunday when she saw the truck "fishtail" off the road. She screamed to her mother to stop their car.

Julie tore open a 30cm crack in the side of the truck and slid inside. "The horses were very upset, kicking, squaling, I couldn't see a thing, it was pitch black and there was a lot of dust flying around," she said.

Julie spoke gently to horses Diamonds, Harry and Lobo to calm them. "I just told them my name and that they were going to be OK," she said.

Julie used a crowbar to open an escape route for Harry and Lobo, but Diamonds went into shock and was lying on the floor.

Meanwhile, a fire had broken out under th truck and firefighters told Julie to get out.

"But Icouldn't leave him there. He would have died." Julie said.

The tearful owner of the horses thanked her with a hug, and Julie's new best friend thanked her with a gentle nuzzle.


DIPPED IN FOR BEST MATE
By Kelly Ryan
(Melbourne Herald-Sun, August 5, 2004)

A gutsy 72-year-old man risked his life when he stripped naked and dived into freezing filthy water to save his drowning dog.

Grandfather Steve Mellech didn't think twice when blind mutt Cosmo walked off the edge of a pier during their regular morning stroll yesterday.

The cleaning contractor tore off his clothes and jumped straight in after his best mate. But triumph almost turned to tragedy for Mr. Mellech, who had Cosmo in one arm while treading water with the other.

Unable to find a foot-hole or ladder to use to climb back to the top of the dock, Mr. Mellech spent more than 30 minutes in water 10m deep before water police rescued the pair.

"Cosmo's head was sinking and he was crying and I was screaming Oh no, no, Cosmo, no " Mr. Melech said.

I just pulled off all my clothes and I jumped in and held him tight. I could not get out, the pier was too high and there were no steps."

Rotten wood broke in his hands as he tried to pull himself up and a rope proved too slippery to climb. "I put Cosmo on a piece of pylon and swam towards Footscray and then I swam back to the city, looking for a way out."

Workers thought they were hallucinating when they saw the impressively-built Mr. Mellech stark naked on the pier.

Police pulled up along the wharf in their jet-powered boat. To access the underside, they quickly inflated a dinghy and plucked the traumatised Cosmo to safety.

After changing his own clothes and using a hair dryer to fluff up Cosmo, Mr. Mellech, who survived a large heart attack 15 years ago, returned to thank the officers.


GOAT SAVES MAN'S LIFE
By Inga Gilchrist
(extract from Melbourne Herald-Sun, October 30)

Australian dairy farmer Noel Osborne declared goat milk the elixir of life recently after surviving on it for five days as he lay in the open with a broken hip.

Mr. Osborne, 78, was kept alive by milk from his pet goat Mandy. He was able to milk her into an old bottle which he found within reach.

By night the faithful nanny goat slept beside Mr. Osborne, and on the other side his loyal border collie, also called Mandy, curled up to keep her master warm.

The ordeal began early on October 8 (2002) on the lone farmer's remote property when one of his cow's knocked him over, breaking his hip.

"That evening the goat came and I was able to get hold of an old bottle and I milked her into the bottle and I was able to have a drink. She slept there beside me every night I was there."

Mr. Osborne endured storms, cold nights, hot days and gifts of old bones from his dog as he lay waiting for help.

Mandy's goat milk kept him going until the last two days when his hands were too weak to milk her.

Finally, the former shearer was rescued by friends who came to pick up a kid goat.

Mandy, the collie, gave her master one last lick on the face then had to be hauled from the ambulance so Mr. Osborne could go to hospital.

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