TOPEKA (KSNT) – It may only be the first month of 2022, but there’s a contender for dog of the year.

Meet Diesel. He likes being petted, playing fetch, and now – saving lives.

Matthew Johnstone/KSNT Photo

A couple of weeks ago, Bob Riedel fell hard on the cement stairs just outside of his home at night, knocking himself unconscious. Diesel was outside with Bob, and kept the man warm by laying on him and conscious by licking his face.

“With his help keeping me awake and keeping me warm, I called my buddy, he came over and picked me up,” Bob Riedel said.

According to Diesel’s owner and Bob’s son, Jason Riedel, when Bob arrived at the hospital he was borderline hypothermic. If that dog hadn’t helped the man, they’re not sure what would have happened.

“I was just real thankful that he was there to keep my dad warm,” Jason said. “I think it was like 10 degrees that night. I’m pretty sure after sitting out there for a couple hours, he wouldn’t probably be here right now.” 

Diesel has always been a protective dog, even staying defensive when help arrived – because he knew Bob was hurt.

“He’s just my dear friend, I think the world of him,” Bob said. “He’s always there for me.”

The duo couldn’t be prouder of the life saving companion. KSNT News has been assured by Jason and Bob, that Diesel will be receiving more treats than usual, and an evening watching Lassie, his favorite show.