Henry the 8-year-old Boston Terrier is “not a fan of children,” but that doesn’t stop him from watching over his human siblings. Recently, the dog’s vigilance paid off when he alerted his parents to a terrifying medical emergency with their 9-month-old daughter.
The baby had been sick, but Kelly Andrew and her husband had no idea how serious her condition was until Henry started misbehaving one night. Despite their admonishments, Henry kept forcing his way into the baby’s nursery. Finally, Andrews checked the baby and found her struggling to breathe.
Andrews shared the harrowing tale in a Snapchat story that has since gone viral.
“Last night the dog kept breaking into the nursery and waking the baby. She’s been sick, and I was getting so fed up with him. Until she stopped breathing.”
Andrew told the Hartford Courant that Henry went to the nursery five times despite being scolded. She was starting to lose her temper because each time he forced his way in, the child would wake up. However, Andrews soon realized that Henry was trying to draw her attention to an urgent medical issue.
“I could hear his head hit the door and I could see her bedroom door from downstairs swing open. I knew he had gone inside so I shooed him away,” Andrews recounted. “I went in … I was furious with the dog, but then noticed she was very rigid and struggling to breathe. We tried suctioning her, but she started to turn a little blue.”
The couple rushed their daughter to Hartford Children’s Hospital, where the doctor was able to suction out the congestion that was blocking her airway and making it difficult for her to breathe. According to a Snapchat update, the little girl is on the mend and “doing much better.” The family is now back home with Henry, who “bravely held the fort all night even though he is scared of the dark.”
“I’ve read about stories like this, but we’ve never had one to my knowledge in the department,” Dr John Brancato, medical director for the ER at Hartford Children’s told NBC Connecticut.
The phenomenon may not be familiar to Dr. Brancato, but dog lovers around the world have since shared similar stories of canine instinct and heroism on Andrew’s post.
“When my brother was dying, the dog knew before anyone else did,” one user tweeted. “He refused to leave my brother and kept trying to attract attention. I am 100% he knew something was wrong. Dogs are amazing. Pay attention when they become restless around somebody. It can safe a life.”
“Dogs are saviours,” wrote another. “Many years ago my ex girlfriend’s dog kept barking at her to leave her bedroom upstairs. She was irritated with him because he wouldn’t stop barking. They walked downstairs, seconds later the entire ceiling collapsed onto her bed from burning electrical wiring.”
Andrews now realizes just how valuable it is to trust a dog’s instincts.
“I don’t know what would have happened if he hadn’t woken her. We don’t deserve dogs,” the grateful mother wrote.
As for Henry, he’s being “treated as a king” and can expect an extra-big Christmas stocking this year!