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Service dogs – who are specially trained to assist those with visual, mobility, psychiatric or developmental difficulties – are a vital part of life for the people who need them. Apart from providing their human with love and companionship, they also help them to become more independent and even improve their physical or mental health.

And sometimes – as in the case of Yolanda, whose story is told in the above video – these incredible dogs can even save their human companions’ lives!

When a fire started inside blind woman Maria Colon’s home in Holmesburg, Philadelphia, Yolanda was the one who saved the day … by calling 911. Although she couldn’t articulate what was going on to those on the other end of the line, her call nevertheless alerted them to the fact that an emergency situation was happening. Firefighters quickly rushed to the scene and were able to bring the blaze under control. Maria and Yolanda then underwent treatment for smoke inhalation.

In the video, an emotional Maria said that Yolanda would never have allowed the fire to go unchecked, because “she loves me too much … I know she loves me.” And when the two rush to greet one another after Maria’s discharge from hospital … that love is truly palpable.