My hero hound
Gary Gregory, 33, from Lowestoft, was on death’s door, but his rottweiler Megan was on hand to save the day…
Crawling under the covers, I tried to get comfortable. But despite having a queen-sized bed, there was very little room left. ‘Budge up,’ I groaned. My partner Sean, 50, was snoring away, and our three dogs, Megan, a rottweiler, Heidi, a Labrador, and Hugo, a pug, had all made themselves comfy.
The dogs were like our children – they went everywhere with us – and despite being rather rowdy at times, they instinctively knew to be gentle with me.
You see, a few months earlier, I’d been struck down with stomach and back pain every time I ate.
After losing over 3st and being in and out of hospital, I was diagnosed with chronic calcific pancreatitis.
But the dogs really kept my spirits up, especially Megan, who would know not to jump up for cuddles when I was feeling too weak.
Instead, she’d just lick my hand to show me her love. But my health deteriorated. I was losing more and more weight, and in February last year, I had developed jaundice, and tests showed that stones were blocking my pancreatic duct. I was discharged the next day, and after Sean left for work, I dozed off
on the sofa
with the dogs.
At 11am, I went to the loo, suddenly feeling unwell.
The next thing I knew, I was vomiting up what looked like coffee granules – it was congealed blood.
Knowing something was seriously wrong, I stumbled for my phone to dial 999.
But I suddenly felt so dizzy.
I tried to reach for something to hold on to, but I slipped and cracked my head on the coffee table.
Then everything went black.
Waking up, Megan was licking my face, while Heidi and Hugo were stood close.
‘What the…?’ I slurred, as I lifted my hand to my head. I felt blood gushing out. I was delirious, and thought this was the end… I slowly made my way up to the bedroom and, reaching for my phone, I called Sean. ‘I’m dying,’ I croaked. ‘I love you.’ I must have passed out again, because the next thing I knew, paramedics were banging on the front door.
Sean must’ve called an ambulance, I thought, relieved. But then I realised…
The door was locked, and I didn’t have the strength to go down and let them in…
Frantic, Megan ran downstairs, barking and jumping towards the door.
She knew how to open it – she’d done it before when I’d lost my keys – but the handle had to be pulled from the outside first. ‘Help!’ I shouted. But all I could muster up was a faint whisper.
It was hopeless. Convinced I was going to die, everything suddenly went black again.
The next thing I knew, I was waking up in a hospital bed, with Sean standing by my side.
‘Megan saved your life,’ he wept.
He explained that the paramedics had gone to my neighbour,
who told them that Megan would open the door if they pulled the handle down.
She’d let them in and they’d raced me to the hospital.
I’d suffered a major internal bleed.
‘If the paramedics had had to wait for the police to break the door down, you would probably have died,’ Sean said through tears. I couldn’t believe it. Megan had saved me! ‘Cook her a big steak tonight,’ I smiled to Sean. I was in the hospital for three days, and Sean said that Megan had been inconsolable. She’d seen me gravely ill, and then being taken away. The poor thing must’ve thought I’d died and was never going to come back. But coming home, despite her obvious urge to jump up to cuddle me, she simply sniffed at me as I gently patted her head. In October last year, I had to have surgery at the Royal Free Hospital in London to remove the stones from my pancreatic duct and reroute my bowel. While I was there, Megan
was presented with a Judges’ Special Award at a local awards ceremony – the Stars of Lowestoft and Waveney. ‘That’s my girl,’ I said proudly, as Sean showed me a video of her taking to the stage to collect her doggie hamper. Since my near-death episode, Megan’s been my guardian. She follows me everywhere, even to the loo. At night, she lies in bed next to me, alert for any danger. Now, I’m growing stronger every day. I’ve got a huge scar down my stomach, but it’s a small price to pay for being alive and well. I was at death’s door, but Megan saved me. I owe my life to her.
I was throwing up blood
Megan opened the door
Without her I would have died
I needed major surgery
Truly man’s best friend