He saved her, then she saved him — and now they finally get to see each other again.
It was an emotional reunion on Tuesday, as 6-year-old German shepherd Sadie bounded into the lap of Brian Myers as he exited his rehab facility in Saddlebrook, New Jersey.
The two haven't seen each other since the 59-year-old Myers suffered a stroke at his home in Teaneck in January, and Sadie helped save his life. Their story together starts further back than that, however, as the two met at the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge.
Sadie wasn't the easiest dog at the shelter, being an anxious and skittish pup who didn't always get along well with men. Her previous owner had to give her up, but Myers rescued her.
A few months later, Sadie repaid the favor.
It was in the middle of the night when Myers suffered his stroke, and he collapsed to the floor.
"She came to my side and she lied down next to me, licking my face to keep me alert," Myers said, adding that he could tell she was in distress while he was lying on the floor. He said he grabbed onto Sadie's collar to steady himself, and she did what any good shepherd does.
"She just started to pull me backwards, so with that and the little bit of strength that I had, I was able to get myself out of the corner and ... get the help I needed," Myers said. With the help of Sadie, Myers was able to get to a phone and call for help.
"I don't know how she knew to do it, but that she was able to pull me the way she did, I was so grateful to her," Myers previously told NBC New York. "I live alone, so if she hadn't come and did what she did, I may as well have been worse off than I am right now."
Thanks to the team of therapists at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation — and in no small part, Sadie — Myers is expected to recover from the stroke. When Myers was still in rehab, he said he missed Sadie every day.
"I missed her terribly, I can't wait to be home with her," he said, choking back tears.
He told News 4 he hopes his story of Sadie will encourage more people to take rescue animals into their homes.
"There are many other dogs there waiting to be somebody's hero," Myers said.