A neigh­bour’s best friend Glace Bay dog cred­ited with sav­ing man’s life

Truro Daily News - - MARITIME LIFE - BY SHARON MONT­GOMERY DUPE sharon.mont­[email protected]­post.com

A Glace Bay golden retriever has earned the ti­tle “neigh­bour’s best friend.”

Don­nie Dono­van said af­ter re­cently su er­ing a heart at­tack while alone in his front yard, his neigh­bour’s dog brought at­ten­tion to what was hap­pen­ing, which likely saved his life.

“Lainey is ul­ti­mately the rea­son I’m alive.”

Ev­ery­thing be­gan on Oct. 2, when Kait­lyn Ea­gles and boyfriend Ger­ald Sud­worth, both reg­is­tered nurses at the Glace Bay Hos­pi­tal, were in their base­ment do­ing ren­o­va­tions.

e cou­ple had just bought a house on Bay Street in Glace Bay and had only been liv­ing there a week. eir two-year old golden retriever Lainey was up­stairs.

All of a sud­den, Lainey be­gan bark­ing.

“We thought that sounded like a strange bark for her be­cause it was kind of ag­gres­sive,” Ea­gles said.

“She barks but it was un­usual for her to bark the way she did that day.”

Ea­gles checked on Lainey and found her look­ing out the front win­dow.

“I saw my neigh­bour from across the street, just lay­ing on the ground in his yard.”

Ea­gles ran across the street and saw her neigh­bour was un­con­scious and with­out a pulse, so she be­gan CPR.

Her boyfriend went up­stairs look­ing for her and, notic­ing what was hap­pen­ing, ran over as well.

“We per­formed CPR – we ro­tated – and we got the man back,” Ea­gles said.

In the mean­time, some­one else had phoned 911 and an am­bu­lance ar­rived.

Ea­gles said since they just moved in, they hadn’t yet met their neigh­bour.

With­out Lainey alert­ing them they never would have known Dono­van was in dis­tress be­cause they were down in their base­ment, she said.

Since Dono­van got out of hos­pi­tal, he has been over to visit and thank his neigh­bours.

Lainey did get a big hug, Ea­gles said, adding: “I think she’s his lit­tle an­gel.”

Dono­van, 61, who works sea­son­ally in Ben Eoin, said on the day in ques­tion he was mow­ing his lawn with a small elec­tric mower.

“I was back­ing up to­wards the street and that’s the last I re­mem­ber,” he said. “I thought I was get­ting a lit­tle light-headed but then I went down and was gone.”

e next thing Dono­van knew, he woke up in an am­bu­lance.

“ ey put the pad­dles on me and the nee­dle in my chest and then I was air­lifted to Hal­i­fax.” Dono­van said he had a heart at­tack and went through quadru­ple-by­pass.

It wasn’t un­til his rst doc­tor’s visit at home that he heard the story of how Lainey saved his life. e doc­tor knew the two nurses who own Lainey and per­formed CPR on him.

Dono­van, who has three dogs of his own, in­clud­ing a ter­ripoo, a sheltie bor­der col­lie mix and a shih tzu, said dogs truly are spe­cial.

“ e spe­cial sense they have we might not un­der­stand, but thank God they have it.”

He said the ex­pe­ri­ence is still at an emo­tional stage for him.

Had Lainey not called at­ten­tion to him…

“With­out Lainey, I wouldn’t be here right now.”

Dono­van said it’s amaz­ing how ev­ery­thing fell into place for him, as Ea­gles and Sud­worth — who ren­dered the life­sav­ing med­i­cal as­sis­tance — are reg­is­tered nurses.

“It’s all been pretty over­whelm­ing and I don’t think I grasped the whole thing yet.”

Jen­nifer Macdon­ald, owner of A.J.’S Coun­try Board­ing and Day­care on Long Beach Road in Port Morien, said Lainey is one of her clients.

She posted the story of the dog’s ac­tions on Face­book, which has re­ceived more than 15,000 views as of ear­lier this week.

“She is a su­per­star to us. ese are the heart­warm­ing sto­ries you want to hear.”

e Dono­vans some­times drop their son’s great Dane, Gerry, o at AJ’S for a play­time.

“Gerry and Lainey know each other and play to­gether,” MacDon­ald added.

Dono­van is also us­ing his story as an op­por­tu­nity to warn peo­ple to get tested.

“I’ve never smoked and was only a so­cial drinker. I thought I was in great health and yet had four block­ages in my heart that I didn’t know of.”


Lainey, a golden retriever owned by Kait­lyn Ea­gles and her boyfriend Ger­ald Sud­worth of Glace Bay, re­cently saved the life of their neigh­bour.


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