This is the story of one incredible pup who was able to save her owner’s life. The dog had a feeling that something was not right and she followed her natural instinct. After trailing her owner and getting her attention, it was clear that the dog could not be calmed down. Her owner could have never imagined, though, that her dog would be the reason she is alive today.
Keola the dog
Meet Keola. She is an American Akita who lives in South Yorkshire along with her owners, Alhanna and Ricky Butler. Keola was a great addition to the Butler family and her owners could not have been more in love with her. In addition to Keola, the family had something exciting to look forward to, as they were expecting their first child. Alhanna’s stomach was growing quickly and the Butlers were happily preparing for the new arrival.
There are so many different dog breeds to choose from and each of them have different, prominent characteristics. Keola is an American Akita, a breed originating from Japan. The dogs were bred for use in deer and bear hunting but now are kept as pets. Akitas are known for their dominant and independent spirit. This is doubly true in Keola’s case, as was made evident when she insisted on warning her owner against impending danger…
While Keola is not human, she likely would have been able to notice that there were new things happening in her home. For example, her owners were moving in new furniture like a crib and other baby items. However, even with all of the excitement around her, Keola could sense that something was not right with her owner, Alhanna. Her natural instincts were kicking in and as the days went on, the feeling was only getting stronger.
A sixth sense
We have all heard of animals running for higher ground when a tsunami is near. Many animals can feel changes in nature, and some would argue that dogs are very in tune with humans and nature. Many people who own dogs would tell you that they can tell when they are upset or in need of help. Dogs have even been known to sense natural disasters. For example, a dog might pace around or get agitated when a storm is coming.
Mothers-to-be take the necessary steps to ensure their baby will be as healthy as possible. This can include taking pre-natal vitamins, exercising and eating healthy. Alhanna was no different and was taking every necessary precaution to ensure the health of her child. However, as she was so focused on the health of her baby and monitored the progression of her pregnancy (and expanding baby bump), she did not notice her own health was rapidly deteriorating.
As is expected with a first pregnancy, expecting parents can often worry about the safety of their unborn child. Becoming a parent is a huge responsibility and taking on the task can be daunting for many couples. That is why if something is not going right during a mother’s first pregnancy, it can cause a lot of anxiety. Thankfully in Alhanna’s case, she listened to the nagging voice in the back of her head that told her her dog was on to something.
Alhanna’s pregnancy seemed to be progressing smoothly and she was feeling well apart from a slight pain in her lower back. Her pain was worsening and she sought out the help of a doctor. She discussed the problem, however, the pain was believed the be a side effect of pregnancy and the doctor did not think much of it. However, when the expecting mother returned home, she started thinking the pain might be related to something else.
During pregnancy, hormones are changing rapidly and the body produces a hormone called relaxin. This hormone allows the pelvis and the ligaments to relax and prepares the body for the process of childbirth. While this hormone is necessary for labor, it can cause the spine to relax and loosen, causing back pain. This is why it would be understandable for Alhanna and her doctor to think that her back pain was a normal reaction to her pregnancy.
Alhanna wrote off the pain as simply a symptom of pregnancy, but her pet dog, Keola, could sense something was not right. It seems that the dog could “smell,” in a sense, that something wrong with Alhanna’s body, and that she needed to make her owner notice this. She began acting differently than normal around Alhanna, and eventually it became clear to both Alhanna and her husband that something was out of the ordinary with Keola.
Alhanna recalled that the doctors simply sent her home after explaining to her that the pain was just due to pregnancy and that it was not a problem. However, upon returning home, Alhanna said that Keola “just sat staring at me so intently that it really scared me.” Alhanna did not know it then, but this odd behavior would be the reason that her life was saved.
Alhanna explained that after Keola began staring at her, she thought it was strange and even posted a picture about it on social media, jokingly writing on Facebook about the film Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, in which a dog does something similar. While Alhanna herself may have joked about the behavior at first, her friends began commenting that she should take the matter seriously. Maybe those close to Alhanna knew dogs have a sixth sense?
After a couple of days, Keola began to whine more and more, while exhibiting odd behavior more frequently. At first, Alhanna did not take the behavior seriously, but over the course of a few days, she began thinking that Keola was trying to tell her something important. She admitted later that Keola was the only one who knew the extent of her health problems. Not even the doctors could have predicted what would happen next…
Crying for Alhanna
Alhanna explained that Keola would cry and nudge her in order to get her attention. Alhanna admits she could not understand why her dog was doing this. Alhanna’s husband Ricky began to notice that whenever she went to work, Keola would get distraught and start acting up. Prior to Alhanna getting pregnant, Keola had never done this when she left for work. It was obvious to the couple that Keola was distressed, however, they did not know what her behavior was about.
While other people might not have taken these signs seriously, Alhanna could not ignore Keola’s behavior and she knew she had to take action. She did not think anything of the visit and was just checking in to make sure everything was alright with her baby. However, in an instant, Alhana was sent to the intensive care unit. It was then revealed that the expecting mother was only moments away from death.
A kidney infection
While Alhanna and even the doctors did not attribute her back pain to anything serious, Keola knew that something was off. At the hospital, doctors finally discovered that Alhanna had a serious infection in both of her kidneys. It was an extremely rare occurrence, and since it had taken a while for Alhanna to discover the problem, her condition had rapidly worsened. Thanks to Keola, though, the infection was discovered, but even then, her prognosis did not look good…
Untreated and getting worse
Due to the fact that the infection had gone unnoticed, it was one of the worse cases Alhanna’s doctors had ever seen. The team at the hospital tried everything, only to discover the infection was resistant to antibiotics. As Alhanna later explained, this kind of infection “had only ever affected one other person in the U.K.” The doctors were running out of time as both Alhanna and her child’s lives were in danger.
Not only was Alhanna’s life endangered but her unborn child was at great risk, too: as Alhanna’s health was worsening, so were the doctors’ concerns about the health of her unborn child. She later recalled in regards to the infection, “It was killing me and the doctors told me that if I had left it any longer I would have died and more than likely” killed her child.
Saving 2 lives
Thankfully, the doctors were able to contain the infection and Alhanna was able to carry her pregnancy to term. She gave birth to a baby boy, with the mother and son both healthy thanks to the help of one special member of the Butler family. Had it not been for Keola’s sixth sense and adamance in notifying her owner, Alhanna and her son may not be here today. So how did the family repay their furry family member for her actions?
Alhanna felt like she owed Keola her own life and the life of her son. And so, in addition to giving Keola lots of affection and doggy treats, Alhanna and Ricky named her their son’s guardian angel. They named the baby boy Lincoln and from the pictures posted to Alhanna’s Facebook page, it is clear that he and Keola are the best of friends. The Butlers are sure that Keola will continue to look out for Lincoln for the rest of her life.
This heart warming story is just one of example of why dogs make such good pets. Had it not been for Keola’s animal instinct, who knows what would have happened to Alhanna. It turns out that in addition to being furry, sweet and lovable, dogs are also looking out for the health and safety of their owners. We bet that Lincoln and Keola will be best friends and that Lincoln will always be thankful for what his dog did.