A small school bus carrying two kindergarten students turned the corner and, witnesses said, Figo hurled his body in front of it to save Stone from the full brunt of the hit.
“The dog took a lot of the blow,” Brewster Police Chief John Del Gardo told USA Today. “And he did not want to leave her side. He stood right with her. He was there to save her.”
Stone had three broken ribs and a fractured ankle and elbow.
A local gas station manager told reporters the dog’s leg was cut to the bone. His right paw, Stone said, was “hanging like a wet dish rag.” Still, he crawled to her side.
“I knew he was hurt and I was a mess,” Stone told the News Journal. “I remember Figo standing there looking at me, trying to get close to me, but he didn’t know what to do because he knew I was hurt.”
“She didn’t want him to get away from her either,” Paul Schwartz, who manages the Xtra Mart gas station, told USA Today. “She kept screaming, ‘Where’s Figo? Where’s Figo? Where’s Figo?’ We kept telling her he was fine.”
Now the dog is being hailed a hero, with people all over the country calling him “brave,” “loyal,” “sweet” and “selfless.”
But Stone said it wasn’t uncommon for Figo to protect her that way. She said he has been known to stand between her and wayward carts rolling down aisles at the grocery store.
Paramedics put Stone in an ambulance, though strict rules kept Figo outside. Firefighters first transported him back to the firehouse and sought veterinary care.
Danbury Hospital spokesman Diane Burke said Stone was in fair condition. Some 15 miles away at Middlebranch Veterinary, workers said Figo is “resting comfortably and recovering nicely from his wounds.”