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Lifesaving Dogs
     I was on dialysis from May 1999 to March 2001.  The dialysis interfered with my blood sugar levels.  I frequently went into hypoglycemic shock (low blood sugar).  Many times when I went into shock someone would be nearby to help me.  There were a few incidents where no one was around but I was able to get help on my own.  However, there were two incidents where I went into shock when no one was around to help me.  The two times this happened, a dog saved my life.
     On one occasion, it was early in the morning and no one was up yet.  I went into shock while sleeping.  My bedroom door was closed and no one had heard me.  My brothers dog Genny (a mostly white pit bull named after the crème ale) somehow knew something was wrong and stood in front of my bedroom door and barked until she woke everyone up in the house.  If it hadn't been for her, I may have not received help until it was too late.  If a persons blood glucose (sugar) level stays too low for too long, it can lead to coma or death.
     On another occasion, I was home alone.  Because dialysis makes a person extremely tired, I lied down on my bed to get some rest.  It was in the afternoon and no one was home.  My brother had moved to Texas and took Genny with him so even she was not home during the day with me anymore.  I went into shock, but this time I also had extremely high potassium levels in my blood and could have suffered a heart attack.  I was somehow able roll out of bed and get to the window.  I couldn't walk, so I knew I would never make it to the phone.  Luckily. the window was open and I shouted for help.  After several minutes, the neighbors dog Buddy (a black lab) heard me yelling for help.  He stood in front of my window for what seemed like 15 minutes barking.  The neighbor heard him and yelled for him to come home.  Buddy wouldn't leave.  He kept barking until the neighbor came over to bring him home.  Buddy was a well behaved dog so he normally listened to the neighbor. That is when my neighbor saw me through the window and called 911.  I was rushed to the hospital where I stayed for one week while attempts were made to lower my potassium levels.  Eventually, a switch in blood pressure medication brought my levels down and I was released from the hospital.  If it hadn't been for Buddy (and, of course the neighbor), I would have died in my bedroom that day.
     Buddy died from Lymphoma in February 2005.  He died three days after he was diagnosed.

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