Labella, a 9-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, is a hearing-alert dog who lets her owner know when there’s someone at the door or when the phone rings, but her other senses were working overtime last Monday night.
Labella’s owner, Dottie Fisher, had fallen asleep in front of the television but woke up when the small dog kept insistently nudging her chest, the Star Gazette reports. The 78-year-old Fisher told the newspaper that she felt a strange sensation when she awoke, with a pain in her shoulder that radiated down her arm. She phoned a “nurse-on-call helpline,” explained her symptoms to the operator and was told to go to a hospital immediately.
Fisher was taken to Corning Hospital near her Big Flats, New York, home where she was diagnosed with a coronary, a blockage of the arteries near her heart. She was transferred to a second hospital the next day and underwent a procedure to remove the arterial blockage and was back home — and back with Labella — by Wednesday.
Fisher says she had never been diagnosed with any heart problems before and she credits her tiny dog with saving her life.
“The medical people thought it was unusual,” Fisher told the newspaper. “I said, ‘No, it’s not.’ Dogs can sense when one’s owner is not well or when there’s a problem.”