SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (CNN)– A California pet that is training to become a guide dog got a real-life test when a car came barreling down a sidewalk toward its blindfolded trainer.
Danielle Alvarado, from Guide Dogs for the Blind, said, “We’re working on having a straight a line all the way to the curbs and then on from there.”
Usually, this type of training is just an exercise.
However, last Monday it nearly became a deadly disaster.
Richard Bolds said, “I’m thinking, what is that sound?”
Bolds owns the building on the corner, which captured a terrifying scramble on its surveillance cameras.
Alvarado, Todd Jurek and their dog-in-training O’Neil were on the sidewalk when an out-of-control vehicle barreled down the walkway at high speed in reverse.
Jurek says O’Neil was the first one to spot the danger.
He tugged at the leash, trying to get his trainer’s attention to turn left.
Jurek was then able to push Alvarado, who was blindfolded at the time, out of the way.
He said, “I think the dog looked before I did and I don’t know what the dog would have done if I hadn’t grabbed Danielle. So that’s just something you’ll never know.”
The driver was a 93-year-old woman who says she lost control of the vehicle.
The car broke a window, left skid marks along the side of the building and somehow squeezed all the way to the street.
The program to train the dogs only lasts 10 weeks
For O’Neil, the incident happened in week eight, which means in two weeks they are forced to say goodbye.
She said, “Even from day one he was special.”
Now, he’s not just a guide dog, but a lifesaver too.