Coral’s family rescue dog turned out to be a real lifesaver...
Curled up, toasty warm in bed, I was looking forward to my early night. It was getting dark so early, I’d even switched the heating on. Bliss. What was that? It was 2.30am and our black Patterdale Terrier, Gracie, was barking non-stop. Then, a thud… We’d fostered Gracie a month earlier, in September 2015, along with her five newborn puppies.
She’d been abandoned, heavily pregnant, and found wandering the streets.
I work at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in Old Windsor, Berkshire, and couldn’t resist taking her and her puppies in.
Now, wrapped in a dressing gown, I went to check on her.
To my horror, I found my stepdad Andy Smith, 48, lying facedown in the lounge. ‘Andy?’ I cried. Nothing. Businessman Andy had been my father figure since he met my mum Jane Scott, 49, 22 years earlier. Running upstairs, I woke Mum. Dashing back to him, we found Andy had stopped breathing.
I rang 999 and we did CPR for 10 minutes, before paramedics arrived and blue-lighted him to west London’s Hammersmith Hospital.
The next two weeks were hell, as he lay in an induced coma.
When he finally woke, he had shortterm memory loss.
The one thing he did remember was Gracie.
Doctors said he’d had a suspected stroke and a heart attack – actually dying for 17 minutes!
Gracie’s SOS bark had saved his life.
Eventually, her puppies were all re-homed, but Andy insisted on keeping Gracie.
We’re so amazed at what she did. Ever since, she’s been his guardian angel.
The one thing he did remember was Gracie
Gracie and her puppies