Saved: Herbie the dog keeps diabetic coma victim alive by licking her

Bournemouth Echo: SAVED: Suzanne West, from Creekmoor, with Herbie the guide dog who saved her life SAVED: Suzanne West, from Creekmoor, with Herbie the guide dog who saved her life

A WOMAN’S life was saved by a dog when she slipped into a coma while home alone.

Blind diabetic Suzanne West, 42, would have died when she fell into a six-hour-long diabetic coma if her partner’s guide dog Herbie hadn’t licked and cuddled her to keep her alive.

Miss West came round covered in dog hair and saliva on her bed at home in Creekmoor, Poole, at around 11.30pm on Wednesday with the faithful pooch by her side.

Woozy, she managed to crawl over to pull her life line and call for help.

And when paramedics arrived, Herbie, a seven-year-old black Labrador, was there to greet them.

Miss West, of Larch Close, said: “If it wasn’t for Herbie, six hours later into the coma I would have died.

“He literally saved my life. It was all really, really scary.

“I’m still very shaken.”

Her partner David Colclugh, 43, had gone away for the night on a fishing trip with pals from Poole Town Anglers club, leaving Herbie behind.

Miss West says after having dinner and taking a “perfect” blood sugar reading she went upstairs to watch television at around 6pm.

“I was in a coma for probably six hours,” she said.

“I came round and it felt like someone was wiping my face and nudging me. I was very disorientated and absolutely covered in dog hair.”

The lifesaving pooch refused to leave her even after the ambulance and her mum Margaret West had joined in the rescue.

“He never left my side except to wait at the top of the stairs for the paramedics,” Miss West added.

“He frightened them to death as they came across this big black dog in the dark.”

Miss West, who was diagnosed with diabetes aged four, usually relies on Mr Colclugh, who has some sight, to notice when she’s about to have a hypo and to rub glucose gel on her gums.

She rarely had them until last November, when, after a 16-day hospital visit she was put on the list for a pancreas transplant.

“They are as rare as hen’s teeth,” she said. “While I’m waiting for an operation the extra medicine I have to take affects my blood sugars.”

'Remarkable'

Tim Stafford is Guide Dogs charity mobility team manager for Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset and Isle of Wight.

He said: “Guide dogs build up a very close relationship to people and Herbie obviously has a close relationship with his owner’s partner.

“He must have sensed something was badly wrong with her medically and did what he could to try and help her out.

“It is quite remarkable and sounds as if he saved her life.”

Some guide dogs are specially trained for this kind of thing but Herbie acted “instinctively”, Mr Stafford added.

Comments (7)

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10:42am Tue 10 Jul 12

Huey says...

Well done Herbie
Well done Herbie Huey
  • Score: 0

11:42am Tue 10 Jul 12

rudolph_hucker says...

I wish my dog was more like this.
He licks his backside and still expects a biscuit.
I wish my dog was more like this. He licks his backside and still expects a biscuit. rudolph_hucker
  • Score: 0

11:53am Tue 10 Jul 12

portia6 says...

What a wonderful story it just
goes to show that dogs are as
diverse as us humans in how
they behave. Herbie obviously
has been well trained a credit
to his owners as well!
What a wonderful story it just goes to show that dogs are as diverse as us humans in how they behave. Herbie obviously has been well trained a credit to his owners as well! portia6
  • Score: 0

11:54am Tue 10 Jul 12

greasy Lils breakfast emporium says...

rudolph_hucker wrote:
I wish my dog was more like this.
He licks his backside and still expects a biscuit.
Enough to put one off ones breakfast.
Your dog needs toilet training.
[quote][p][bold]rudolph_hucker[/bold] wrote: I wish my dog was more like this. He licks his backside and still expects a biscuit.[/p][/quote]Enough to put one off ones breakfast. Your dog needs toilet training. greasy Lils breakfast emporium
  • Score: 0

11:57am Tue 10 Jul 12

retry69 says...

rudolph_hucker wrote:
I wish my dog was more like this.
He licks his backside and still expects a biscuit.
See Echo Opinion.Still a nice story Mr.Hucker
[quote][p][bold]rudolph_hucker[/bold] wrote: I wish my dog was more like this. He licks his backside and still expects a biscuit.[/p][/quote]See Echo Opinion.Still a nice story Mr.Hucker retry69
  • Score: 0

1:30pm Tue 10 Jul 12

Dog friendly 1 says...

Well done Herbie - a very clever pooch ! How lovely to read a positive story on a dog for a change - they can and are amazing animals - thanks Herbie for showing that. A lovely picture also of Herbie and Suzanne !
Well done Herbie - a very clever pooch ! How lovely to read a positive story on a dog for a change - they can and are amazing animals - thanks Herbie for showing that. A lovely picture also of Herbie and Suzanne ! Dog friendly 1
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Thu 12 Jul 12

spooki says...

Well done Herbie!
Just wondered what the guide dog is for if the owner can go away fishing for a night without him? Not being funny, just curious.
Well done Herbie! Just wondered what the guide dog is for if the owner can go away fishing for a night without him? Not being funny, just curious. spooki
  • Score: 0

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