A rescue dog has been hailed a hero and put up for a medal by the family of man with diabetes who nearly died after experiencing a large drop in his blood sugar levels.
Father-of-four John Hockaday has been living with diabetes for 29 years. In 2010 he lost his eyesight after developing glaucoma, a common eye complication of diabetes.
The 52-year-old, from Southampto, was at home one day being cared for by his wife Doreen. When she left the house in the early afternoon her husband’s blood glucose level was 9 mmol/L. But within an hour it had dived to a dangerously low 1 mmol/L following a severe episode of hypoglycemia.
John’s body temperature dropped from 36C to just 30C and he became unconscious, falling to the floor. Fortunately for him, his two-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Charlie, recognised the danger and raised the alarm.
The canine rushed over to John and licked his face. When there was no response, Charlie frantically started howling and barking and then lay on his body to keep him warm.
The howls for help were luckily heard by John’s 24-year-old son Clint, who lives nearby and happened to be walking past on his way to the shop. Emergency services were called and an ambulance crew were soon at the scene.
“It was a miracle that Clint was walking to the shop and heard Charlie howling, he never howls or barks – his instincts must have kicked i,” said full-time carer Doreen.
“The paramedics placed eight blankets over John’s body when they arrived. They told me that if John had been lying there for another five minutes, he would have died.
“Charlie is definitely the hero in the family. He doesn’t leave John’s side and the two are inseparable.”
“This is such a remarkable story and just goes to show the difference dogs can make to people’s lives,” said Megan Baverstock, from the Blue Cross rehoming centre in Southampton where Charlie was adopted from.
“This amazing Staffie cross definitely deserves recognition for being a pet hero and saving his owner’s life. Staffies tend to get bad press, but Charlie is a shining example of what wonderful pets these dogs can make.”

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