Rescue Dog Saves Owner's Life One Month After Adoption: 'Sensed Something'

A woman has shared how her rescue dog saved her life by alerting others to her medical emergency.

Keena Pratt, 51, from Moncks Corner, South Carolina, adopted Auggie the mix breed in November 2020.

While visiting family over the Christmas holiday just four weeks later, Pratt woke up feeling nauseous and went to the bathroom, where things went from bad to worse.

"I went to use the bathroom and began to feel worse," Pratt told Newsweek. "As I sat on the toilet, I put my head on the counter. I kept going in and out of what I thought was sleep. In one of the 'awake' moments, I believe I saw Auggie but he left pretty quickly."

Auggie the dog
Photos of Auggie the mix-breed dog. The rescue animal was praised for saving his owner's life, just weeks after he was adopted. Keena Pratt

Auggie had followed his owner into the bathroom and immediately made his way to Pratt's husband, who described that the pet started acting "off" and led him to her.

"At first, my husband thought I might be having low sugar, so he tried to get me to drink a regular soda, which I remembered I pushed away. My husband told me later that I said, 'I need help.' At that point, my husband called 911," said Pratt.

Paramedics arrived at the house and took her into the ambulance to be transported to the hospital.

"I do not remember the ride, and the time in the ER is vague. All this happened early morning, but I did not come around until about 1 or 2 p.m.," explained Pratt. "The attending physician said I had dangerously low electrolytes and a UTI [urinary tract infection] that I did not realize. I was in the hospital for three days."

The American Kennel Club (AKC) says that our canines can tell if we're not feeling well. Particularly attuned to scents and sounds, dogs are often known to smell illness in their humans.

With a complex cocktail of chemicals in the human body, we have a particular odor that our dogs are familiar with—and any changes that may occur with illness are also easily detected by canines. For example, diabetic alert dogs can tell when their owner's blood glucose level is off because of the changes in exhaled breath.

Dogs also pay close attention to our behavior. They can tell when their human is acting out of the ordinary, right down to body-language changes. If you're usually active and ready to go and instead spend the day curled up on the couch, then your dog can tell that something isn't right.

"I absolutely believe that Auggie sensed that something was wrong," said Pratt. "I cannot imagine what would have happened if he had not alerted by husband."

Pratt now sees a urologist to stay ahead of any further UTI, and said that the incident has only increased the family's love for Auggie the dog.

"It solidified our love for him. Yes, he still tries to protect me even to a fault. After this incident, he became even more reactive to people that come near me. We are working with a trainer to try to re-establish who the leader is in the family," she explained.

"My favorite thing about Auggie is how affectionate he is with my husband and me. He is a member of our family, and we wouldn't trade him for the world."

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