Lance’s Story, Photos and Tribute were provided by his loving owners, the Newsomes, who have adopted from ATRA multiple times.
“We never knew where Lance came from. He was found wandering the streets and given shelter by an extremely kind woman, one who was afraid of dogs. Even she could see there was something special about this Airedale. When we went to meet him, we saw him surrounded by children and his gentleness was immediately apparent.”
[Note: ATRA had just learned about Lance when the Newsome’s contacted us about adopting an Airedale so we were able to refer them to Lance’s rescuer.]
“He was such a relaxed guy; nothing really bothered him. Although he loved to go on hikes, he mostly liked to hang out and eat -everything in sight.
Near Thanksgiving in 1993, Lance and I went to Mrs. Gooch’s grocery store in Northridge. Unless it was too hot, Lance always stayed in the Dodge van with the small side windows open. He could easily stick his head out, but preferred to lie on the bench seat waiting to see what I brought back from the store.
I got out of the van and turned to lock it. A menacing voice behind me said: “Don’t turn around!” I froze and realized that I was being held up. Suddenly, he emitted a blood curdling scream. Having grown up next to Hollywood, I knew that I better turn around. As I did so, there was a man with a pistol in his right hand and Lance with his head out the window. His jaw was clenched tightly on the bad guy’s gun hand. The would-be robber was electrified in fright.
I was terrified that he would move the gun from hand to hand and shoot Lance. I don’t know how much time passed, but seemingly out of nowhere, the police arrived and relieved the bandit of his revolver. While they laid him on the ground to cuff him, I ran to the other side of the van to make sure Lance was OK. He was, as always, cool, calm and collected. He jumped out the van and meandered through the gathered crowd, casually accepting their kudos.
His heroic efforts were appropriately noted by the police and city officials.
A short few months later, the ’94 Northridge earthquake struck us where we lived at the epicenter. When dawn broke and our neighbors and friends gathered, some were distraught at their inability to find their pets. Once again, Lance came to the rescue, searching through rubble and locating two dogs and a cat.
We’ll never know if Lance was trained to do these amazing things. What we do know, is that he will always be our hero.”