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