Exclusive: Rescue dog saves North Haven owner’s life

News 8 Exclusive

NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)–They say in the end, we don’t save our pets, out pets save us. One North Haven woman knows it all too well.

Jennifer Keane believes her black lab, Onyx, saved her life, literally.

Back in June, she was in her North Haven home by herself editing on her computer when she started to get a headache.

It didn’t seem out of the ordinary, until it got worse.

Keane said, “My neck was like stiff, I couldn’t move it. Almost like I was paralyzed. It was crazy…and then that exhaustion that hit me. I could have fallen asleep on a bed of nails. It was really bizarre.”

She said Onyx wouldn’t let her drift off.

“She barked at me,” Keane said. “Like a ferocious bark, like she doesn’t bark like that and it was strange. I kind of ignored her and rolled over and grabbed my blanket.”

Keane added, “she pawed at me like she didn’t want me to go to sleep.”

Those paws were relentless, so she stood up and called 911. Loyal and loving Onyx stayed by Jennifer’s side until help arrived.

The EMT’s weren’t sure what was wrong, but a CAT scan at Yale figured it out. Keane had a ruptured aneurysm and had to get surgery immediately.

Dr. Charles Matouk performed the surgery. Dr. Matouk said, “Because fluid was building up in Jennifer’s head, we had to put a drain into that fluid filled space to relieve the pressure.”

Over her 12 day stay at the hospital, Keane went under the knife two more times. Dr. Matouk says a third of all patients with Keane’s condition don’t survive.

Dr. Matouk agrees it’s likely Onyx knew something was wrong.

“It’s amazing with pets right? How they know. They spend so much time with you and they’re so attentive to you that they can probably recognize when things aren’t right,” Dr. Matouk said.

Keane rescued Onyx from a shelter 4 years ago, but she never could have imagined that one day, Onyx would rescue her.

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