When you live in an apartment complex, you don’t always meet your neighbors.
You see them in the elevator and nod hello, but you’re still strangers. They might be total jerks, like these people who called the police on a 12-year-old black kid for mowing their lawn. Or they might be good samaritans, like this 94-year-old man who built a swimming pool in his backyard for all the neighborhood kids. If you were in an emergency situation, would the person on the other side of that wall care? Or even notice?
Well, one person at an apartment complex in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil has the best neighbor ever. Joao Augusto noticed his neighbor’s Shih Tzu, Mel, was climbing the railing on a ninth story balcony. Cats are known for their agility, but dogs? Not so much. Augusto grew concerned the adventurous Shih Tzu would fall to her death, so he rushed downstairs. After the event, he told reporters how he saved the dog’s life.
“I asked for a towel or a sheet to help in some way, but there wasn’t enough time. Then, she fell from the ninth floor. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to catch her but I was aware that I could cushion the fall.”
A video recorded from a security camera captured the amazing moment.
In the clip, Augusto stands on the sidewalk with his arms wide open, trying to gauge where Mel will fall. He makes a great guess. The dog falls one hundred feet, colliding with his arms and midsection, knocking him down with the impact. Just as Augusto hoped, he cushioned the dog’s fall. Mel hopped up from the pavement and scampered away, totally unharmed. Augusto said he was fine too.
“I was on the floor for a few seconds but it was from relief. I think that I was in the right place at the right time. I did what I could, the most I could to help. It was a joint effort with the caretaker who acted quickly to help the dog. It was a happy ending.”
Paulo Narciso, the caretaker for the building, told reporters he opened the gate for Augusto when he came sprinting downstairs like a madman.
“I didn’t really understand at the time, I opened the gate and went with the man. We got there and saw that the dog was curled over the railing and was going to fall. I went up to the flat but the owner wasn’t home. When I went back down the cleaning lady told me the dog had fallen and that he had grabbed her.”
Well, it’s a good thing Mel’s a tiny Shih Tzu, and not a six foot, 180-pound American Molossus. If Augusto hadn’t noticed the pooch’s precarious position on the balcony, she might not be alive today. Hopefully your neighbors are heroes like Augusto.