Beer ‘life-saving’ dog up for award

A ‘life-saving’ Springer spaniel from Beer has been nominated for a special award after helping save his owner from blood poisoning.

Julie Barrett, who suffers from diabetes and ME, was saved by ‘Henry’, her rescue dog who alerted her mum when she fell unconscious at home.

Julie’s mum thought she was just asleep but thanks to the dog she called a doctor and Julie was diagnosed with septicaemia.

She said: “I had an operation to remove some infected tissue from my leg. It was very serious, and if it wasn’t for Henry I wouldn’t be here now, he saved my life.”

Henry is one of three finalists in the Nylabone UK ‘Make Us Smile’ competition, which invited dog owners to share video clips of their pets demonstrating how they bring a smile to the face of their owner and others.

Julie had to leave her career as a trainee accountant in 2004, feeling constantly exhausted and suffering from black-outs. She was diagnosed with ME, fibromyalgia, a condition which causes severe muscle pain, and diabetes.

She says she became depressed as her condition did not improve, eventually cutting herself off from the rest for the world and not leaving her home, suffering panic attacks and feeling suicidal.

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But the introduction of Henry changed her life. He was abandoned by his previous owner, and was in very poor health when he was adopted by Julie.

She said he helped her during her panic attacks and she started to leave the house again to take him out for walks using her mobility scooter. “If people came to talk to me I was happy to tell them all about my amazing dog, and didn’t feel the need to rush away.”

The spaniel would also pick up on when her blood sugar was low, and continues to amaze Julie. She added: “I still am in constant pain and feel ill most of the time, but with Henry beside me I know I can beat this and keep going.

“Henry is so special; he really is my best friend.”

The winning entry will become the Nylabone UK Face of Facebook, helping to raise awareness of dental disease in dogs and improve the health and wellbeing of pets.

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