We’ve all heard that dogs are our best friends.
The reason for this common quip is due to how long we’ve been together. For more than 40,000 years, humans and dogs have been living, working, and playing next to each other. We’ve grown and evolved together and for that reason, we know each other. Perhaps, then, it might not be surprising to hear that some dogs have a sixth sense about us, as happened in the strange case of the Brousseau family…
The Brousseau family hails from Portland, Connecticut. The growing family includes Mom and Dad, two kids, and a family dog, who might be the most important member of this family for one deeply significant reason.
Who Rescued Who?
Duke is the name and saving the day is his game. However, before he saved anybody else’s day, Duke needed some saving of his own. The poor beast had bounced around various shelters before ending up at the Danbury Animal Welfare Society (DAWS).
A Lucky Save
This is where Eric and Jenna Brousseau found Duke, saving him from euthanasia and providing him with a second chance at life.
“We could never justify spending money on an animal when there are so many animals that need rescuing,” Jenna told the American Red Cross. Saving Duke turned out to be one of the best decisions she ever made.
A Growing Family
Little did this family know, they were about to be extremely grateful for adopting Duke. Six years later, it became apparent just how vital Duke is to the family. This realization came when Jenna gave birth to their second child, a beautiful little girl that they called Harper.
Tragedy Early In Life
In early October 2012, Harper was only nine weeks old when something strange occurred. Duke surprised Mom and Dad in the middle of the night with the most bizarre behavior.
The Shivers & Quivers
Duke, who is typcally a highly well-behaved Dog, jumped up on Jenna and Eric’s bed and began shaking from head to toe. It was such strange behavior to see from such a well-behaved dog.
A Rude Awakening
At first, Jenna and Eric tried to coax the dog down from the bed, but then they thought the dog might be reacting strange for another reason. Sure enough, Eric quickly ran in to check on Harper and was shocked by what he saw.
Saving The Day
After the incident, the Brousseaus reported that Harper looked just like a doll. In the moment, he face had gone pale, her eyes glassy, and her figure unmoving. Their new baby wasn’t breathing and the parents needed to act quickly.
In The Knick Of Time
Fortunately, Jenna hit Harper hard on the back and the baby began breathing again. The parents were immediately flooded with relief, but it didn’t take long for that grief to turn to gratitude that Duke had seen something wrong.
A Sixth Sense?
It appeared the problem had been caused by Harper experiencing acid reflux. Consequently, she ended up choking on the up-swallow. If Duke hadn’t noticed the baby had stopped breathing, her parents would have slept right through it. But how did the dog know?
The Rescuer Becomes The Rescued
“We rescued him and he reciprocated and rescued our daughter,” Jenna tearfully told cameras after the rescue happened. “Duke without a doubt is a hero to us, he is our family’s hero.” Indeed, dogs are sometimes the best friends to have by your side during an emergency.
Not The First Time
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard bizarre situations like these. In July 2016, for example, a Labrador named Max saved a boy during a camping trip in Mexico. The boy, Juan, fell down a ravine and got lost; Max followed him and stayed by his side as they tried to find their way back to the campground. Then, after wandering for nearly two days, they finally came across rescuers on horseback.
In The Line Of Fire
Earlier, in May 2016, a rescued German Shepherd named Haus saved a seven-year-old girl from a deadly Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake. The dog leapt between the girl and the snake, saving her but injuring itself. Thanks to donations from the online community, the family received more than enough money to pay for Haus’ life-saving veterinary bills.
Stories like these go on and on, but one thing is for sure. When it comes to loyalty and braery, canines are the best to have around.
The Case Against Designer Dogs
Naturally, the case of Duke received wide publicity, which enabled Jenna to send out an important message to those thinking about adopting. “People are so interested in designer dogs now,” Jenna said. “But they don’t have the same kind of heart and soul that comes from a rescue.”
Adopt, Don’t Shop!
Not surprisingly, the situation for shelter dogs is a bleak one. While many shelters will open their doors to any stray pet, to do so often means euthanizing older, sicker or otherwise unadoptable animals to make room.
A Risky Life
While some shelters have no-kill rules, those are usually very specific about which types of pets they will allow. It’s an unfortunate fact of modern society that most animals ending up in a shelter are at risk for being euthanized.
A Staggering Statistic
The Brousseaus advocate giving rescue dogs priority when it comes to finding a new pet. After all, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has claimed, “Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year.” It’s staggering to imagine how many don’t make it back out.
Save Them And They Might Save You Too
While one never knows how a pet might ultimately respond to an emergency, we do know heroes are bred from love. The more you love them, the more they love you. So save a pooch and give them a chance to save you too.
[Featured image credit: ABC News @ Youtube]