Topeka man spends 69th birthday with pet dog who saved his life


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A Topeka man celebrates another birthday on Wednesday. It’s one he wouldn’t be here for if it wasn’t for his dog and some help from his phone.

Bruce Jensen’s dog Riley definitely fits the old saying of man’s best friend, because recently he saved his best friend’s life.

It happened two weeks ago when Bruce left his store, Reuter’s Pedorthics, but never made it home. Nick Jensen, Bruce’s son, said his family knew something was wrong.

“He is routine clockwork. I mean I knew he had the dog with him and he’s got to eat so it’s usually work, home,” Nick Jensen.

His truck crashed off the side of Auburn Road and ended up in the creek. He was stranded in near-freezing temperatures overnight for more than 16 hours. Bruce blacked out during the crash and couldn’t escape.

Luckily, Bruce’s daughter-in-law Brandy tracked him on an app called ‘Find my Friends’ and found him and Riley.

First responders were able to get him to the hospital.

“I’m very fortunate to be alive,” Bruce Jensen said.

Paramedics told him he might not have made it there if it hadn’t been for Riley.

“He sat on my chest for 16 and a half hours keeping me warm,” Bruce Jensen said, “He knew I was in a situation where I needed to be cared for.”

Bruce is still recovering from a brain injury, a cracked sternum, and some soreness at the Kansas Rehab Hospital.

On Wednesday he turns 69 and is optimistic for the year ahead.

“More hope for the future. I mean there’s got to be some reason why i’m still alive,” Bruce Jensen said.

Nick Jensen, said the family has been talking to the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office about making changes to how deputies investigate missing people, so that when someone goes missing like Bruce they can be found more quickly.

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