As depicted in the movie “Hachi,” Akitas are renowned for their unwavering loyalty to their owners and are always listed among the most fiercely devoted canine companions. One Akita in England, in fact, was so attuned to her owner that she picked up on a serious medical condition that doctors had missed.
That Akita, Keola, is the same dog friends advised Alhanna Butler to “get rid of” after she announced she was pregnant. But who in their right mind decides to just “get rid of” a member of the family? Thankfully, she didn’t pay any attention, because Keola can probably be credited with saving Alhanna’s life.
When she was about five months pregnant, the soon-to-be mom began suffering debilitating backaches. She checked in with her doctors, but they dismissed them as pregnancy-related: She has a small frame, and her growing fetus was putting extra pressure on her spine.
But Keola seemed to sense that these weren’t your run-of-the-mill growing pains. One day as she was getting ready for work, Alhanna noticed her faithful companion was being especially attentive and following her around.
“Keola looked so sad and I knew something was bothering her. She just sat there staring at me and wouldn’t let me go anywhere alone.”
She was whining and barking so incessantly that Alhanna finally went to the hospital — where she collapsed. She was admitted to the ICU and tests showed that a double kidney infection was the root cause of her backaches.
…Because it was untreated for so long, it was one of the worst cases they had ever seen. On top of that I had an antibiotic resistant bug that had only ever affected one other person in the UK. It was killing me and the doctors told me if I had left it any longer I would have died and more than likely my son also.
But Alhanna survived and so did her little boy. Months later, Lincoln was born happy and healthy!
Thank goodness the doctors were able to cure Alhanna and save her baby… but more importantly, thank goodness Keola was there to notify her owner of the potentially deadly infection.
Possibly the best part about this story is that Keola and Lincoln are now best friends!