While many were celebrating New Year’s Eve 2016, a Michigan man suffered a terrible accident that could have ended his life, had it not been for his faithful dog Kelsey.
The man, who preferred to be known simply as “Bob” to reporters, slipped outside in the freezing cold with no one nearby to call for help. He had been flipping channels between football and watching the ball drop in Times Square, and decided to go out for firewood before midnight, wearing nothing more than pajamas and slippers.
It was only a 15-foot trip to collect the kindling, but suddenly Bob slipped on a patch of ice and fell — breaking his neck. With no nearby neighbors to hear his calls for help, his golden retriever Kelsey responded and sprang into action.
“I was screaming for help, but my nearest neighbor is about a quarter mile away and it was 10:30 p.m., but my Kelsey came,” Bob told McLaren Hospital. “By morning, my voice was gone and I couldn’t yell for help, but Kelsey didn’t stop barking.”
Kelsey laid on top of Bob to keep him warm while he was immobile in the snowy 24-degree weather. She also licked his face and hands to keep him alert and awake.
“She kept barking for help but never left my side,” Bob said, according to Fox News. “She kept me warm and alert. I knew I had to persevere through this and that it was my choice to stay alive.”
It took nearly 20 hours before a neighbor finally heard Kelsey’s urgent shrieks, with Bob ultimately losing consciousness around the 19th hour. By the time he was rushed to McLaren Northern Hospital, he was hypothermic with a core body temperature of under 70 degrees Fahrenheit. He also had atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) and a disc herniation that was causing near paralysis in his legs.
Bob was stabilized, underwent surgery and has since regained the use of his legs, but it was clear that Kelsey was the true hero that saved his life.
“Kelsey kept me warm, alert, and never stopped barking for help. Dr. Colen saved my life and ability to move. They are truly heroes and I will be eternally grateful.”
In a true mark of solidarity and compassion, the hospital even allowed Kelsey to continue staying by her owner’s side while he recovered.
Its seems as though there’s nothing that could prohibit Kelsey from keeping her owner safe, proving yet again the power of a dog’s love in an incredible tale of canine heroism.