Anyone who owns a Lakeland Terrier knows that they can be extremely willful and, well, naughty. But we also know that our Lakelands have their moments of redemption and remind us of the treasures that they are. And hence, this story of Riki (CH Northcote Serendipity Riki) and his “moment of redemption.”

Our house, located on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, has a mini apartment located below the main living area and separated by two landings and a fireproof door. Katie, my wife’s mother, is 85 and resides there. The apartment, due to construction codes, is basically soundproof and is equipped with a phone which, with the push of a button, dials all other phones in the house in case of an emergency.

The day found Lynda, my wife, in the upstairs den doing computer work, when Riki began barking. Now Riki and barking go together just like a dog and his supper-they are inseparable companions; and, as a result his barking has just become background noise-never mind that it can shatter glass.

On this occasion, Riki’s barking was incessant, just unrelenting and caused Lynda to take special notice. As soon as eye contact was established, Riki began running down to the first landing and continuing to bark, then would run back to Lynda and repeat this scenario. When Lynda got up to follow Riki down to the landing and beyond, she heard a faint and anguished, “Help me, Lynda. Please help me.” Katie had slipped and fallen; traumatized, she was lying helpless in front of the door to the lower deck, unable to move.

As it turned out, she suffered only minor injuries, but Riki had sensed the anguish and heard the cry for help – and prompted Lynda to find and help her mother.

Are Lakeland Terriers magnificent creatures or what?

In Riki’s case, he now has the everlasting gratitude of his mother, Lynda and his grandmother Katie. And since Riki is the center of his own universe, that just suits him perfectly.

In his spare time, Riki is a certified therapy dog (Therapy Dogs International ) and visits hospitals, Alzheimer centers, schools, and does in-home hospice visits. He also has earned his Junior Earthdog (JE) titles in the both the US and Canada.

— Dan & Lynda Phillips