Posted: Sep 26, 2013 9:36 AM by NBC News
Updated: Sep 26, 2013 9:58 AM
(WXIA) An Atlanta, Georgia family is mourning the loss of a beloved guide dog who left them with one final heroic act.
Seconds after he was struck by a car, Simon, an 80 pound Boxer, pushed his owner's child to safety.
"This is true loyalty and courage," said Dave Furukawa.
Furukawa, who is visually impaired, has counted on Simon as his companion and guide for the last four years.
On Monday, Furukawa was walking his child Will to school. Simon was by their side. As they crossed the street, witnesses saw a car run a stop sign and strike Simon, then Dave.
Bystanders have told the Furukawa family that Simon's protective instinct kicked in, despite injuries that would prove to be fatal.
"What people have said is that Simon either got up or jumped out, and pushed my son out of the path of the car," said Furukawa.
Witnesses lifted Will and ran him down the street to his mother. Simon went with them.
"Broken leg, gash on his side and internal bleeding, but he followed home," said Furukawa. "Once he was sure Will was okay, he laid down."
Family members rushed Simon to an emergency vet clinic, but the boxer died on the way.
Atlanta police say Calvin Armour was cited with running a stop sign and failing to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
Pilot Dogs, Inc., of Columbus, Ohio, provided Simon. The executive director told 11Alive the organization will give Dave Furukawa another guide dog and training.
Furukawa says he will move on with the spirit of Simon.
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