A fully grown Boxer dog jumps up against a newborn’s crib, snarling and growling. It seems as if she is hellbent on harming the child, but when the situation unfolds, a terrifying secret is revealed, one that has life or death consequences.
John and Danielle Livik woke up at the same time. Their dog, Bella, was jumping up against their newborn’s cot, barking and howling at the top of her lungs, as the baby was screaming blue murder. Jeff’s first thought was that the stress had finally gotten to Bella. They had spent so much time preparing her for the infant’s arrival, but it seemed that she had developed a severe bout of jealousy and was now acting out on it.
Bella was a fully grown Boxer dog. In between them, Jeff and Danielle had spent many hours researching the best breed of dog to have around children. They were preparing to have a family and wanted a dog that would grow up with kids and hopefully become their best friend. Yet here Bella was, growling, barking, and even snarling at the newborn while jumping up against the infant’s cot.
Bella had become a part of Jeff and Danielle’s family two years before when they decided on a Boxer. The next step was to research breeders, then they had to wait almost a year for Bella, and she had become the apple of their eye. When Danielle fell pregnant, the dog had been incredibly supportive throughout her term. In fact, Bella had been the first to indicate that something was up with Danielle. The dog’s behavior had changed completely; she started doting on Danielle and stopped jumping up against her and roughhousing when she was around.
They were confused by her behavior until the doctor confirmed that Danielle was pregnant. He also told them that it was more than possible Bella had picked up on the pregnancy from the hormonal shifts in her body. As Danielle’s pregnancy progressed, the husband and wife team made a point of preparing Bella for the arrival of the infant. The sudden addition of a new baby can be a significant adjustment for dogs, leading to an unforeseen change in their daily routine.
Both Danielle and Jeff instinctively understood this. They knew Bella found comfort in her schedule because it brought a sense of predictability into her life. And they also knew that they would have to prepare Bella properly for the little one’s arrival to prevent her from experiencing sudden unease.
By this time, Jeff was on his feet. It took two large strides for him to reach the baby’s cot and grip Bella firmly by the collar. He pulled her off the cot and started dragging her toward the bedroom door. He cursed under his breath as Bella resisted him. She fought him all the way to the back door. She anchored herself with her four legs and dropped her head down to make Jeff’s job as difficult as possible. Her wild barking had now given way to a soft whimpering, as if she wanted to tell him something, but Jeff would have none of that.
Granted, Bella now got a bit less attention than she did before the baby arrived, and she was spending more time on her own. He also understood that there were all kinds of new elements in the household, things Bella wasn’t quite used to yet. More people came by, mostly to see the baby, and there were odors and sounds she wasn’t used to. But that was no excuse for this kind of behavior.
Jeff tightened his grip on the dog and used all his strength to drag her away from the nursery. He crossed the hallway, into the living room, and managed to cover the last few feet to the back door with Bella’s collar in one hand, more than a little concerned by her behavior. Jeff fiddled with the latch of the back door. Then came a terrifying shriek from upstairs.
“It’s Danielle! Jeff, come quick! It’s the baby!” she shouted from the bedroom.
Jeff let go of Bella’s collar and took the stairs two at a time. He sprinted back into the bedroom with the dog on his heels. Danielle had the little one cradled in her arms. Through her tears, she told Jeff the baby was as hot as a furnace. She just changed a nappy, and the little one had terrible diarrhea. Her little heart was beating like a runaway train, and her belly was all swollen.
Jeff snatched up his cell phone and contacted their doctor. He listened carefully to the instructions the physician gave him and then turned to Danielle with a concerned look on his face. According to the doctor, this could be sepsis, which meant they had to get her to the emergency room as quickly as possible.
Bella, now sitting by the foot of the bed, was largely forgotten. She looked at everything that was going on, satisfied that she had attracted Jeff and Danielle’s attention when it was really necessary.
The trip to the emergency room took seven minutes. Jeff didn’t even turn the lights off when they parked right in front of the entrance. He took the baby from Danielle, stepped out of the car, and started running towards the doors. Inside, the doctor was already waiting. While making their way to the examination room, he was already checking the baby for signs of sepsis.
Five minutes later, he turned to them with a somber look in his eyes. If it was sepsis, it meant that the baby was infected after birth. It could be the catheter they had inserted or even just the stay in the hospital before her parents took her home. With a serious tone, the doctor explained that little Melina would have died if they had caught the issue a few hours later. They needed to run some more tests, and if they came back positive for sepsis, they would have to do a lumbar puncture as well. The baby would be put on antibiotics right away, and the doctor was confident that the medicines would drive the bug out of her system within 72 hours.
Danielle volunteered to stay at the hospital while her husband went back home to get some rest. On his way home, Jeff kept on thinking about Bella. Somehow, the dog had picked up on the baby’s distress. If it wasn’t for her, things would probably have gone from bad to worse. It was the dog that instinctively understood that something was terribly wrong, and she did everything she could to wake Jeff and Danielle and draw their attention to the baby. And to think that he had been so mean to her. He felt horrible for thinking Bella might have wanted to harm the infant. He should have known better.
At home, he didn’t go straight to bed. He made Bella a snack and made a huge fuss over her. Then, when he headed downstairs, he slapped his hand against his leg to indicate she should follow him. She wasn’t allowed on the bed, but tonight, he was going to make an exception. And in his heart, he knew Danielle wouldn’t object. After all, Bella had saved their baby’s life.
The following day, he stayed with the baby while his wife got some well-deserved rest. She hadn’t slept at all the night before, and she desperately needed some tender love and care. Jeff was stuck outside his baby’s room all day and used that spare time to call all their relatives and inform them of what had happened. Some of them rushed to the hospital and prayed with him, while
others went to his house to support Danielle.It was a tough day, but together they got through it. And when the doctors came out to tell Jeff that his baby was out of the woods and on her way to recovery, he cried happy tears. Three days later, as promised by the physician, little Melina was healthy again. The doctors kept her in the hospital for a little longer, just to be safe, but soon enough she was discharged.
And when she finally got home, no one was happier to see her than her four-legged guardian angel. She had missed her terribly, and when she started jumping and barking in excitement around them, Jeff and Danielle decided not to drag her away. They would let her spend as much time as she pleased in the nursery from now on. After all, she was the reason why Melina was still with them.
The day Jeff and Danielle found their Boxer dog nestled inside the cot with the baby, comfortably snuggled under the covers with her, they didn’t have the heart to separate them. They were best friends, sisters, and kindred spirits, and nobody would come in the way of a love like that.
What a magnificent ending, and how terrific that a dog’s instinct could save an infant’s life! Have you ever had an experience where a dog picked up that something was wrong with a human before the person did? If so, tell us in the comments. We’d love to hear. Thank you for watching, and catch you in the next video.