The clever canine refused to stop crying after her owner began suffering from severe back pain at their home
A young mum claims to have the most intuitive dog in Britain after her pet told her she was pregnant – and then saved both her own and her baby’s life.
Alhanna Butler and husband Ricky had binned what they thought was a ‘negative’ pregnancy test, only to return home to find American Akita Keola had picked it out of the bin to show it was in fact ‘positive’.
When the 21-year-old from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, soon fell ill during pregnancy she was sent home from hospital after being told her back pain was just due to her small frame.
However Alhanna claims Keola knew that something was seriously wrong as she would not stop crying and staring at her, just like Hatchi from the movie.
After sharing a photograph on social media of Keola staring intently at her for almost an hour, Alhanna’s mum Amanda rang her to say the dog was telling her something was wrong.
However when the mum-to-be arrived at hospital, she collapsed and almost died.
Alhanna Butler’s dog discovered she was pregnant after she fell ill
Alhanna was hospitalised in intensive care with an antibiotic-resistant bug and a double kidney infection and doctors said she would have died had she not come in when she did.
A video ‘thank you’ tribute to Keola for saving Alhanna and 13-week-old baby Lincoln went viral on social media and has amassed more than 4.5million views.
Alhanna, a healthcare assistant, said: “I have absolutely no doubt that both me and Lincoln would not be here today if it wasn’t for Keola.
“It was incredible. She knew I was seriously ill when no one else did and she made sure she told me. Whenever I went out the house, Ricky said she would cry and pace around and she had never done this before. She would follow me around when I was sick and sit staring at me.
“When the doctors sent me home and said there was nothing seriously wrong, she just sat staring at me so intently that it really scared me.
“I posted a picture of her doing this on Facebook and made the joke about the film Hatchi where the dog also does this and suddenly my friends all started saying I should take it seriously.
Keola with Lincoln, the family’s new arrival
“Then my mum phoned and said ‘listen to your dog, she is trying to tell you something’. It turns out she was absolutely right – and she saved our lives. She is the most amazing dog and I owe her my life.”
Alhanna and Ricky, 25, decided to they wanted a Japanese Akita as they had heard how intelligent and protective they were.
When they went to view her brother at a local dog breeder in June 2014, they believe Keola ‘chose them’ and so ended up taking her home.
Eight months later, the childhood sweethearts were trying for a baby but with little success.
Alhanna said: “We did test after test but with no luck. They just kept coming up negative. One day I had binned a negative test and gone out shopping.
“When we returned, Keola had gone through the bin and had got the pregnancy test out of the bin. She had never touched the bins before so it was very odd. She was sat with it in front of her like she was trying to tell us something.
Alhanna thought her pregnancy test was negativ
“I grabbed it and saw a faint second line – I couldn’t believe it. I showed Ricky straight away and said Keola was saying I was pregnant but he said the line was too faint and it was just coincidence so we binned it again.
“The next day I went to buy a more expensive test and it said I was two weeks pregnant. I told Ricky by writing a note as if it was written by Keola and attaching it to her collar for him to read.
“We were both over the moon and we realised that Keola was truly a special dog who could detect things that we couldn’t.”
When Alhanna was 18 weeks pregnant, she began being sick very frequently and feeling ill. But Keola would attentively wait by her side while she was sick in the bathroom.
Eventually Alhanna’s sickness and back pain became so bad she visited a midwife at hospital but she was told the pain was only due to her small size finding it hard to adapt to being pregnant.
Alhanna said: “It was awful. People thought I was just being a wimp and kept telling me ‘oh if you can’t handle this, how are you going to cope with having a baby. But I could barely walk.
Keola cried persistently after Alhanna started suffering from back pai
“No one really understood how ill I was – but Keola did. She would nudge me and cry and I could never figure out why she had suddenly started doing this. Ricky said she was distraught whenever I went to work, when she had never minded before.”
When Alhanna did eventually listen to Keola and took herself to hospital, she collapsed in the corridor.
She was rushed into intensive care and barely remembers the next two weeks as doctors fought to save her
Doctors said the bug she had been infected with they had only seen once before and they had to create a new antibiotic in the lab especially to treat Alhanna.
In all, Alhanna was hospitalised for a whole month and was told that she was lucky to be alive – had she come in a day later she may not have been so lucky.
Eventually she convinced the doctors to allow her to return home for two hours to assure Keola she was OK – and Ricky filmed the tear-jerking moment the overwhelmed dog greeted Alhanna.
Alhanna and Keola before she gave birth
Alhanna said: “I now know Keola was definitely trying to tell me something was wrong. I just wish I had listened to her sooner.
“People have since asked me would we keep Keola now we have a 13-week old baby but I just tell them she is our first child.
“I completely trust her around Lincoln. She loved him before any of us did – it was her who knew about him first. She loved him before he even knew she existed and she would rest her head on my tummy.
“Now she spends all of her time by his side. She sleeps by his cot and she stands guard of him all the time. In Japan, Akitas have been known as ‘babysitting’ dogs and she definitely lives up to this. She is inseparable from him.”