(KBTX) – When Mary Cormier rescued Ranger, she knew there was something special about him.

Ranger had been homeless for seven years when Cormier took him in, helped him heal and found him a forever home.

Judy Okert was in need of a four-legged companion. She had to put her dog down in April and was ready to welcome another dog. Cormier said it was an instant match when Okert and Ranger met for the first time.

Okert said Ranger has been more than a companion– he’s been a protector.

“He will walk with me and if there’s something he’s not too sure of, he will stop and put his hip right about my knee and we wait until he’s sure it’s alright to go on.”

He’s also a hero. Okert’s granddaughter recently had a seizure, and Ranger alerted Okert quickly.

“He came to the door and let me know to check on [her granddaughter], and I’ve never seen him do that before,” Okert said. “I don’t know what we would’ve done without him.”

Okert said she and Ranger now have an unbreakable bond.

“He makes you laugh, makes you smile. He makes you want to get up and be a part of life.”