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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Dog Alerts Mom to Struggling Baby, Makes Unbelievable Rescue

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When Henry the Boston terrier kept disobeying his owner’s commands, Kelly Dowling thought it was just a streak of naughtiness, but she soon discovered he was trying to tell her something.

Kelly and Jeff Dowling of Glastonbury, Connecticut, have two daughters. Their youngest, 9 months old, had been sick and was on antibiotics after a trip to urgent care on Dec. 12. She was scheduled to get some chest X-rays later that week, according to the Hartford Courant, but until then, she was being cared for at home.

Henry had been known to push open the nursery door — it had a malfunctioning latch, making it easy for the dog to push the door open.

But on Monday night, he kept head-butting the door open, sniffing the baby, walking back to the doorway and staring at her.

“I kept shooing him out, kind of angrily,” Kelly told the Hartford Courant. “I had just gotten her to sleep, and she wasn’t feeling well.”

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Most of the time, once scolded, Henry would sulk under the bed, but on Monday night he was insistent until he woke the baby up.

“He finally, successfully, woke her, and she started to cry, but her cry was very strange,” Kelly said. “I went in … I was furious with the dog, but then noticed she was very rigid and struggling to breathe. We tried suctioning her, but she started to turn a little blue.”

They immediately realized their 9-month-old was in distress and got the whole family into the car and to the Connecticut Children’s Hospital in Hartford in record time.

The couple’s older daughter said, “I think Daddy’s breaking some laws.”

At the hospital, the nurses cleared the baby’s airways and kept eye on her, and she was much improved.

Kelly tweeted about the terrifying incident.

“Last night the dog kept breaking into the nursery and waking the baby,” she wrote. “She’s been sick, and I was getting so fed up with him.

“Until she stopped breathing.

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“We spent the night in the hospital. I don’t know what would have happened if he hadn’t woken her. We don’t deserve dogs.”

“He’s not a fan of children, but he watches out for the girls,” Dowling said. “He goes where they go. He watches.”

Since then, the family has expressed their deep gratitude for their four-legged friend and protector.

“Henry has spent the last two days being treated like the king of the castle, which — if I’m honest — is no different than any other day,” Kelly tweeted.

There will certainly be more presents under the tree for Henry this year after his very good behavior.

“I’m going to have to go shopping again for him because I already gave him everything out of his stocking,” Kelly said.

“He’s a good boy.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking