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Heroic dog saves owner's life

LAWRENCEVILLE -- On Oct. 23 the Vintage Pointe Neighborhood Association honored Titan, an American Pit Bull Terrier, as the 2011 VPNA Neighbor of the Year for saving his owner, Gloria Benton's, life.

One morning in July, Titan, living up to his powerful name, wouldn't let John Benton leave the house. He blocked his co-owner's way while making grunting and whimpering noises. Benton was confused since Titan had never acted that way before.

"He is always sitting at the top step when I leave and I say, 'Have a great day and take care of (Gloria.)' But this particular morning he gets in front of the door and won't let me leave. He was shivering," Benton said.

Titan was clearly agitated and was circling around himself in a frenzy. Suddenly, Titan raced up the stairs to the second floor. Benton, now concerned and curious, followed.

"(Titan) pushed the door open and Gloria was laying at the foot of the bed on the floor. I thought she had just fallen because she has had several back surgeries," he said.

Without Titan's help, Burton might not have found his wife in time. As it turns out, she suffered a brain aneurism that resulted in her falling and hitting her head, resulting in hemorrhaging from a skull fracture. Usually Benton does not call home until mid-afternoon, and by that time doctors predict it would have been too late for his wife.

Pit bulls, especially ones that weigh 90 pounds like Titan, can be known as "a killer breed of dog," according to Benton. Yet, he could not be fonder of the dog and its sweet demeanor. He said, "I have never had a dog this smart in my life."

After Titan's heroic act, Gloria Benton spent eight weeks recovering in an intensive care unit. According to her doctors, time was of the essence and without Titan's help she might not have made it.

Today John Benton is Titan's defender. He said that usually anything assumed about pit bulls are only "the bad things" but on the contrary, "(Titan) is the most loving animal I've ever had."