Garbage man helps in family emergency

Published 5:00 am Monday, April 26, 2004

WESSON — When Dave Malone started on his garbage routerecently, he had no idea it would be any different from the dailyroutes he has run in Wesson for the past five years.

As he approached the house of Hollis Cowen Sr. and his wife,Belle, Malone noticed something different.

“It was real quiet and this feeling came over me that somethingwasn’t quite right,” recalled Malone.

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From the driver’s seat of his Waste Management truck, Malonespotted Mr. Cowen face down on the ground in his fenced-inbackyard.

Knowing Cowen Sr. suffered from Alzheimer’s, Malone knew thesituation could be dangerous as Mr. Cowen lay just a few feet fromhis swimming pool.

“I just jumped out of the truck and rushed to the house andknocked on the door,” said Malone.

Malone was greeted by Belle Cowen, who had left her husband onthe back porch just moments earlier. Mrs. Cowen and Malone headedto the back yard, where Malone showed no fear as he was met by theCowens’ German Shepherd, Lancer.

“I said ‘Lord, it’s up to you now, just don’t let him eat meup,'” laughed Malone as he talked about the dog that appeared to be”as big as a horse” running toward him.

Despite Malone’s initial thoughts about the protective dog,Lancer did not bother him as he approached Cowen, who was thenstruggling to get up.

“It seemed that he (Lancer) knew I was there to help,” saidMalone.

Malone helped Mrs. Cowen get Mr. Cowen up and get him to thecar, so she could drive him to the doctor.

Mr. Cowen had suffered cuts on his head, arms and hands, but hasrecovered from the episode, said Mrs. Cowen. She is appreciativefor Malone’s efforts in alerting her to the situation and being sohelpful.

“We have always appreciated Dave, but this made it even morespecial,” she said. “He came to our rescue and was brave enough togo in the yard with a German Shepherd dog.”

Malone said it was just a matter of instinct and doing the rightthing.

“I give all the credit to the Lord above,” he said. “My pastoralways taught me to reach out to people and that’s all I wasdoing.”

Malone’s route manager, Steve Porter, noted that Malone is avery helpful person who is modest about his efforts.

“It doesn’t really surprise me about Dave. He’s one of the bestemployees we have,” said Porter. “To tell you the kind of personDave is, we found out about this through a letter from the city(Wesson). He didn’t tell anybody.”

Malone will be recognized by the company in its nationwidenewsletter.