It is not often that I hand out the ministry's prestigious Medal of Valor. It is reserved for those who display uncommon heroism or selflessness (or those who donate large sums of money or rawhide to the ministry). And so it is a fitting award for young Toby the Golden Retriever. The Maryland 2-year-old spotted his human caretaker choking on a piece of apple that had lodged in her throat. Debbie Parkhurst, 45, attempted to perform the Heimlich maneuver on herself to no avail. After she began beating on her chest, Toby took notice and took the matter into his own paws. "The next think I know, Toby's up on his hind feet and he's got his front paws on my shoulders," she recalled. "He pushed me to the ground, and once I was on my back, he began jumping up and down on my chest." Toby's Heimlich maneuver left a paw-shaped bruise on Parkhurst's chest, but it did the trick.
Toby, on behalf of the ministry and a grateful nation, I present to you the Medal of Valor. In addition, you will receive a one-year scholarship to the ministry's obedience school/madrassa in Yemen. Well done, Toby. May Allah ensure that your coat retains its luxuriant shine for many years to come.