Kelsey, a golden retriever, is credited with helping save the life of an Emmet County, Michigan, man who slipped in the snow and broke his neck when no one else was around.
The man, identified in multiple media accounts only as Bob, 64, lives on a farm in a remote area in the northern part of the state, with no close neighbors. The nearest one was a quarter-mile distant.
At the time, which happened to be New Year’s Eve, he was not dressed for cold weather, reportedly only wearing only long johns, a long-sleeve shirt, and a pair of slippers. His wife was away visiting Bob’s in-laws at the time.
About 10:30 p.m., Bob went outside to get some firewood during a commercial break in a football game. In the process, he accidentally slipped on some icy steps and wound up unable to move. The temperature at the time hovered at about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. After screaming for help, his dog came running. “Kelsey, didn’t move either; she licked his face and hands, spread her body over his, and stayed with him in the freezing cold until a neighbor happened upon them,” Inside Edition explained about the heroic actions of the 70-pound golden which may have prevented the man from suffering frostbite.
Bob kept calling out for assistance, but eventually he lost his voice.
“‘She kept barking for help but never left my side,’ Bob said. ‘She kept me warm and alert. I knew I had to persevere through this and that it was my choice to stay alive,’” Fox News reported. Bob eventually passed out after being paralyzed and laying in the snow for about 19 hours.
Kelsey continued to bark, however, and a neighbor apparently heard the commotion and came over and found them around 6:30 p.m on New Year’s Day.
After being transported to a local hospital, Bob received treatment for hypothermia and an irregular heart beat and underwent surgery for several herniated discs. He is currently recuperating in a rehab center and using a walker while he rebuilds his strength. Kelsey’s owner is expected to make a full recovery from what started out as not such a happy new year. “The disc herniation was in his neck and was compressing the spinal cord, causing weakness or paralysis in his legs,” Fox News noted.
“‘He was very fortunate to have survived the circumstance of being in cold weather and having a warm body sustain him for that period of time,’ said his neurosurgeon Dr. Chaim Colen, who noted Bob’s pinched spinal cord could have cut off his breathing,” the Today show explained about the Michigan incident.
Kelsey was on hand to greet Bob after he got out of surgery.
Said Bob’s daughter Jenny about her dad’s ordeal, “He has marks on his arms from [Kelsey] pawing at him when he was losing consciousness. It was like, she knew that he had to stay awake because if he fell asleep he wouldn’t wake up again.”
“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,” Bob added.
Back in May 2014, in an unfortunately less positive outcome but nonetheless involving a devoted canine, Buddy the golden retriever guarded his 81-year-old master’s body for about 24 hours until rescue crews arrived. The retired man sadly died of an apparent heart attack while cross-county skiing with Buddy in Colorado. Buddy stayed by his owner’s side, guarding him from coyotes, until the local sheriff and other first responders found them under a tree the next day.
[Featured Image by David Goldman/AP Images]