Man Paralyzed and Stuck in Snow Saved by His Golden Retriever

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
Kelsey the Golden Retriever earned lifetime “good girl” status after staying with her owner who was paralyzed in the snow for 20 hours and saving his life.

It’s no secret that dogs are loyal friends to their humans. Sometimes, that loyalty is life-saving. Take the case of a man identified only by the name of ‘Bob’ in Emmet County, Michigan. On New Year’s Eve, Bob slipped in the snow Michigan winters are famous for, and broke his neck. He’d been collecting firewood, and he fell, unable to get up or to even get any help.

The temperatures were extreme that night, with a low of 20 degrees, and Bob was literally freezing. If not for his faithful companion Kelsey, he’d surely have died of hypothermia. Kelsey recognized that her human needed help, and she got right to it.

Related: Winter SOS: Cold Weather Safety Tips for Dogs

For over 20 hours, Kelsey licked Bob’s hands and face, as she also lay across his body as a canine blanket so that her Daddy didn’t freeze to death. Bob said she never left his side, and kept barking, in an effort to keep Bob alert while also attempting to garner help from anybody who might hear. Kelsey knew Bob needed to continue to stay alive until someone came, and she did her best to help him persevere.

Bob’s nearest neighbor lives a quarter of a mile away, so it wasn’t until 6:30 p.m. on New Year’s Day, over 20 hours after he’d fallen, that another neighbor who lives near came to his house and found him unconscious on the ground. He summoned emergency crews, who took Bob to the nearest hospital and doctors there diagnosed him with hypothermia and herniated discs in his neck and back. Because of the disc herniation, Bob’s spinal cord was compressed, and that was why he’d been paralyzed overnight.

Related: Family Dog Saves 5-Year-Old Boy Trapped In Scalding Hot Dryer

Miraculously, he did not suffer any frostbite, and Bob attributes his survival to Kelsey’s determination.

Hospital neurosurgeon Dr. Chaim Colen performed spinal decompression surgery on Bob, who is mending well, though he will need tremendous amounts of physical therapy to regain his full strength. Dr. Colen credits Kelsey’s care of her owner to his survival, saying it was vital. Dr. Colen said that a smaller dog would most likely have died in the extreme temperatures as well, and it was Kelsey’s large, furry body that made the difference.

Goldens are known for their hairy dispositions, but we guess that Bob will always be thankful for the dog hair (and dog) that saved his life!

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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