The Joys of a New Puppy
There’s a reason that dogs are considered “man’s best friend.” They love unconditionally, protect us from strangers, and they can sense when something is wrong, more so than other humans. They are our emotional support when life gets tough and a source of great laughter, which feeds the soul.
For one young couple, their new puppy would become an integral part of the family and years later she would play an important role in sensing danger when no one else could. You won’t believe this incredible story.
Part of the Family
When Alhanna Butler and her fiance Ricky Burdis adopted a sweet Akita puppy named Keola, they never could have imagined how important she would end up being in their lives. A ball of fur that gave endless kisses and love, the couple knew they were going to spoil her rotten.
Of course, she didn’t stay little for very long.
All Grown Up
Both Alhanna and Ricky could have never imagined that Keola would grow up to be almost as big as a bear. Despite her large size, she was very gentle and loved to cuddle and watch TV with her owners. She was the baby of the family…until the couple received some amazing news that would radically change their lives.
Alhanna was shocked to discover that she was pregnant. Her fiance Ricky was over the moon and even Keola seemed excited. The couple was not concerned with having such a large dog around their baby because Keola had proven to do very well with kids.
However, Alhanna soon discovered that something was very wrong.
A few months into her pregnancy, Alhanna began to experience horrible lower back pain. It bothered her so much that she decided to see her doctor. He assured there was nothing wrong and the pain was associated with the pregnancy. With her abdomen growing, it was triggering strain on her spine and back muscles. Alhanna had no reason to doubt her doctor, so she went home feeling relieved.
However, another family member wasn’t so easily convinced all was well.
Very Strange Behavior
Keola began to act very strangely around Alhanna once she returned home from the doctor. Speaking to the Mercury Press, she revealed: “When the doctors sent me home and said there was nothing seriously wrong, she just sat staring at me so intently that it really scared me.”
Alhanna hoped it was just a phase, but as time wore on, Keola’s behavior continued to become more erratic.
Change in Behavior
Keola was known for he calm and gentle demeanor. Nothing phased the pooch, but as Alhanna’s pregnancy progressed her behavior became pushy and aggressive. Alhanna believed it could be the pregnancy was triggering stress and jealousy in Keola and this was a problem. There was no way she could keep Keola if she was jealous of the baby. And the thought of losing her dog was almost too much to handle.
Unfortunately, things soon went from bad to worse.
Warning Signs Develop
Ricky soon began to take notice of Keola’s behavior as well. She started to get very agitated in the mornings when Alhanna would head into work. She’d begin to bark and pace as if she were scared. The couple just couldn’t figure out what was bothering her. Then they posted a photo on Facebook that got all of their friends on social media talking.
Bad Behavior Escalates
Worried about Keola as her behavior continued to get worse by the day, Alhanna decided to post a photo on Facebook of Keola in one of her agitated states. “I posted a picture of her doing this on Facebook and made the joke about the film Hachi where the dog also does this and suddenly my friends all started saying I should take it seriously.”
Is it possible Keola knew something they didn’t?
Alhanna began to have a nagging feeling that Keola was trying to warn her about something, so she decided to return to the doctor. At what she thought would just be a routine check-up, Alhanna suddenly found herself being rushed to the ICU for testing.
What could possibly be wrong?
The doctors began to run multiple tests and Alhanna and Ricky were warned that she was just moments away from death. After months of back pain and Keola acting strange, Alhanna was finally going to know why.
The truth is shocking.
A Bad Infection
Come to find out, Alhanna had developed a severe infection in both of her kidneys. This is what was causing the stabbing sensations in her lower back. Even worse, the strain of her infection was very rare and resistant to antibiotics. The doctors revealed if she had not made it to the hospital in time, both she and her unborn baby would have likely died.
Stunned but thankful, Alhanna knew it was Keola who had saved her life.
“No one knew how ill I really was, but Keola did. She tried every day to warn me in her own way and I’m so happy I finally listened,” Alhanna told the local news. Thankfully, her infection was treated and her pregnancy continued on normally. She would go on to give birth to a healthy baby boy that the couple would name Lincoln.
But how had Keola known about Alhanna’s infection.
According to research, dogs, in general, have a keen sense when it comes to detecting illness and other ailments. It’s believed they can sense danger before most humans can. Studies have revealed that dogs have 4,000% more scent receptors than humans and can distinguish the tiniest changes, which allows them to detect illness due to shifts in chemical compositions in the body.
And we thought there was no way we could love dogs more than we do now!
Two Peas in a Pod
Keola and baby Lincoln didn’t take long to become best friends. Keola took on the role of babysitter and big sister, watching the little boy every moment of the day. Alhanna and Ricky revealed that Keola can make Lincoln laugh and they are simply amazed by their dog’s loyalty to their family.
News Travels Fast
As news of Keola’s heroic efforts spread, Alhanna received word that Keola had been nominated for the RSPCA’s “Animal Hero Award.” The entire family was invited to celebrate the event, honoring animals who had done heroic deeds. However, the only honor that Keola needed was to continue to make sure her family was safe and baby Lincoln remained protected.
She truly is one of a kind.
Their Own Personal Nanny
According to Alhanna, Keola comforts Lincoln when he’s sick and plays with him when he’s happy. She has an uncanny ability to tune into his needs and for Alhanna it’s a huge help. “Keola woke me up this morning by running into my room and then I heard funny noises on the baby monitor so I went into Lincoln’s room and he was being sick bless him, she hadn’t left his side since.”
As Lincoln continued to grow, his relationship with Keola did as well. The two of them remain attached at the hip and the love they share is so special. Alhanna and Ricky couldn’t have asked for a better dog when they adopted Keola.
The family continues to remain thankful to Keola, because without her Alhanna and baby Lincoln may not have made it. Thank goodness for Keola’s large amount of scent receptors. She was able to sniff out that kidney infection from over a mile away.
The Perfect Family
Now, Alhanna, Ricky, Lincoln, and Keola have the makings of a perfect family. One where Alhanna will always have a second set of eyes on her child, and where Lincoln will always have a big sister to look up to. A best friend, protector and unconditional love. What could be better than that?