A heroic dog saved his young diabetic owner’s life when he collapsed just one week after the family adopted him from a rescue centre.
Bull mastiff dog Barney discovered 21-year-old Lewis Baxter slumped on the doorstep of his home and woke his mum to alert her on July 1.
Lewis collapsed just outside his front door after his blood sugar level had become dangerously high and, had gallant Barney not woken his mother Donna Gillott, 40, he would have fallen into a life-threatening coma.
Mum-of-two Donna says : “I woke up at about 2.30am to find Barney nuzzling my face. I thought it was strange because he never comes upstairs.
“He went to stand by the bedroom door, so I went over to him and he led me downstairs.
“Lewis was meant to be going to a friend’s house and was going to stay there that night so I wasn’t expecting him home.
“Barney stayed by the front door and kept scratching it. I thought ‘you can’t go for walkies at this hour, Barney’.
“But I opened the door and noticed it was because Lewis was there. He had collapsed and was unresponsive.”
The former nurse and her younger son Dylan, 19, brought Lewis inside their semi-detached home in Eastwood, Nottingham, and desperately tried to revive him.
Emergency services raced to the scene as Donna tested Lewis’ blood sugar levels.
The full-time carer, who has owned dogs all her life, added: “At first, he was totally unresponsive and then he started vomiting. I was really panicking.
“His blood sugar had reached 33 and 35 can cause a coma. He was also close to developing diabetic ketoacidosis, which in some cases can be fatal.”
Lewis, who has recently finished an art and design course at college, was rushed by ambulance to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. He spent three hours in the hospital and received insulin before he recovered.
But a relieved Donna said: “He was a very lucky boy.
“Had Barney not woken me up, I wouldn’t have gone downstairs until about 7am, and even then I might not have opened the front door until a while after that.”
“It could have been a very different story if Barney hadn’t have woken me up because his blood sugar was 33, which is very high.
“He was at risk of going into a diabetic coma and that could have been fatal.
“Lewis could have been there for all that time and who knows what level his blood sugars would have reached by then?
“We really believe Barney could have saved Lewis’s life.”
Lewis said: “Barney really is my hero. He saved my life.
“It is amazing. We rehomed home but he is the true hero.”
Remarkably, the family had only adopted the seven-year-old pooch from Babbington Rescue Centre in Nottingham just one week ago.
The bull mastiff had arrived at the centre in February after being dumped by previous owners and was at risk of being put down.
Tony Sanderson, centre owner, says: “When we first got him, he seemed aggressive and we thought he wouldn’t be suitable for re-homing.
“But after a couple of days at the centre, he became very soft, so we asked for more time to work with him.
“It’s amazing to see how far he’s come and to hear this tale, especially after just one week of being with the family. It shows how dogs can have amazing instincts.”
A spokesman for East Midlands Ambulance Service said: “An ambulance was sent to the scene immediately and arrived within four minutes. The man was treated on the scene and taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre.”
Donna said Lewis and Barney now have a “special bond”, and the family have been spoiling him rotten.