When a Man Breaks His Neck in the Snow, His Dog Saves His Life

Posted by Amber King
dog saves man's life
Photos courtesy of McLaren Northern Michigan via Petsokey News

While the world was celebrating the start of a new year, a dog was frantically trying to keep her owner alive.

Bob, a 64-year-old Michigan man, went out into the snow on New Year's Eve to get more firewood. He only expected to be outside for a few minutes, so he didn't bring his coat. It was dark and cold, but he wasn't expecting the walkway to be coated in ice. At around 10:30 p.m., he slipped, fell, and broke his neck.

Unable to move and in extreme pain, Bob started yelling for help. He yelled as loudly as he could, but his nearest neighbor was over a quarter mile away. The only one that heard his cries was his Golden Retriever, Kelsey.

Kelsey came to his aid and started adding her own voice to Bob's screams for help. As the time crept closer to midnight, the temperature plummeted to 24 degrees. Lying in the snow, Bob was at extreme risk of hypothermia. The snow soaked his clothing and freezing air chapped any exposed skin. But in a moment of canine intuition, Kelsey crawled across his chest and stomach and used her body heat to keep him warm. She licked his face and hands to keep him awake, and she never stopped barking.

golden retriever named kelsey

Bob laid in his yard for 20 hours, but Kelsey never quit. Bob told CBS News:

"By morning my voice was gone and I couldn't yell for help, but Kelsey didn't stop barking. She kept me warm and alert. I knew I had to persevere through this and that it was my choice to stay alive."

Bob eventually lost consciousness, but the Golden Retriever didn't give up. Almost a full day later, Bob's neighbor came by to collect chicken eggs. He heard Kelsey's cries and found the dog laying on top of Bob's unconscious body.

Later, at the  hospital, it was discovered that's Bob's core body temperature had dropped to 70 degrees. He was treated for hypothermia, and a spinal decompression surgery was successfully performed. Bob now needs several weeks of physical therapy, but he's expected to make a complete recovery. His doctor told TODAY:

"He was fortunate to have survived the circumstance of being in cold weather and having a warm body sustain him for that period of time. "

golden retriever licking man in hospital


While her dad is recovering, Kelsey is being treated like the hero she is. Bob's daughter, Jenny, said;

"He has marks on his arms from her pawing at him when he was losing consciousness. It was like, she knew that he had to stay awake because if he fell asleep, he wouldn't wake up again."

Bob credits Kelsey for his survival and his doctor for restoring his ability to move. He calls them his "two heroes," and he and his family are grateful to start the new year with their life-saving Golden Retriever by their sides.

What do you think about this incredible story? Let us know in the comments below!

Photos courtesy of McLaren Northern Michigan via Petsokey News

WATCH NOW: Dog and Flight Attendant Love Story

oembed rumble video here

recommended for you

When a Man Breaks His Neck in the Snow, His Dog Saves His Life