Lifestyle & Human Interest

86-Year-Old Navy Veteran Who Suffered Stroke Has Life Saved by Tiny Chihuahua Mix


Rudy Armstrong is an 86-year-old Navy veteran with plenty of stories of his past.

In his retirement, he lives in Oriental, North Carolina, on a houseboat he built himself.

He leads a fairly solitary life in his old age, a necessity with COVID-19 precautions, living alone except for his Chihuahua mix.

While it’s unclear exactly how the dog’s name is spelled — “Bubu,” “Bu-Bu” or “Boo-Boo” — one thing is clear: This pint-sized pup is a big hero.

Small dogs get a bad rap for being too vocal and often having bad attitudes, but Boo-Boo is smart, sweet and loyal, and she proved that recently when Armstrong suffered a stroke and couldn’t get help himself.

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“I sat down in my chair, drank my coffee and next thing I know it was after lunch,” he told WCTI-TV. “And I couldn’t even get my hand to move and my foot wouldn’t move.”

“I didn’t want to be there for another couple of days before somebody come by. So I said, ‘OK, Boo-Boo, go get me some help!'”

A post from CarolinaEast Health System mentioned that the veteran specifically told his dog to go find Kim, the dockmaster.

“He and Bubu have a special bond and when Rudy couldn’t get to his phone to call for help, he looked his little friend in the eyes and said ‘I need help. Go get Kim,'” they shared.

A few minutes later, Boo-Boo returned with Kim, who was able to assess the situation and immediately call for help.

It was at the hospital that Armstrong found out he’d experienced a stroke, and if it hadn’t been for his precious little pup, he might not be here today.

He was recovering at CarolinaEast Rehabilitation Hospital, where his character and spirit have been noted.

“Rudy, who has sailed all over the world and has stories for days, was very appreciative of the care he has received here, but is not a fan of our turkey sausage,” the post continued.

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“We thank him for his service to our country and for allowing us the privilege of caring for him and sharing his story of Bubu, the miracle pup!”

The rehabilitation hospital also arranged for a reunion between Armstrong and Boo-Boo, which Armstrong was very much looking forward to.

“I’m excited about getting to see her,” he told WNCT-TV. “I mean she sleeps with me, when I go someplace in the car she goes with me, and all of that. You know I mean we do everything together.”

The meeting that took place in the gardens at the hospital resulted in a series of absolutely adorable photos.

“I’ve got tears running out of my eyes,” he told WCTI. “I missed her so much, man.”

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