Pretty much all pet owners will tell you that their furry little friends are almost smarter than humans and have incredible intuition. This owner was certainly right…
Why Was He Acting So Strangely?
Alhanna and her fiancé, Ricky, from South Yorkshire, England, noticed their Akita Ino dog, Keola, had begun to act strangely for what they thought was no apparent reason. But the peculiar behaviors Keola was displaying had interesting connotations behind them…
Time To Start A Family
While the 21-year-old and her fiancé were delighted when they discovered they were pregnant, not everyone felt the same way. After months of trying, the couple was looking forward to starting a family with their new baby and Keola. However, the otherwise calm dog began acting strangely. Keola would whine and poke her nose against Alhanna’s belly for hours. Just like Hatchi from Hatchi: A Dog’s Tale, she would remain as close to her as possible, in a very solemn manner.
Ignoring The Message
Keola would not stop crying and looking at her owner. Not really knowing what had gotten into their dog, the pair decided to ignore the odd behavior. The new behavior was not something the couple had witnessed before from their dog but they didn’t focus on it too much. However, they would later realize that this would be a mistake and that Keola was actually trying to tell Alhanna something important that would end up saving her life.
A Good Start
Alhanna’s pregnancy kicked off to a great start. She was excited to become a mother and desperately wanted to start a family. At the start Alhanna felt good, there were no symptoms or difficulties with her pregnancy that should have caused any worry. However, one thing that was bothering the mom-to-be was that it was becoming increasingly difficult to ignore Keola’s strange behavior, which was getting worse. Alhanna was not the only one, Ricky also noticed Keola was hovering around her a lot.
Sharp Back Pains
But then something happened which would be the start of many life-changing events. Eighteen weeks into her pregnancy, Alhanna suddenly felt an excruciating sharp pain in her back. It was so severe she could barely move or walk. Worried about what the effects could be on herself and their unborn child, the couple rushed to the hospital hoping for answers. Perhaps this would be the moment they would also find out why their dog was acting so strangely…
None The Wiser
However, the couple remained none the wiser. Alhanna was sent back home as, oddly, the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with her. They told Alhanna she was suffering back pain because the weight of the baby was putting stress on her body, especially given her small frame. Alhanna and Ricky believed the professionals and went back home. Although they were relieved to find out nothing was wrong, Keola became worse. The couple chose not to ignore it anymore.
After feeling “scared” by her dog’s stares, Alhanna logged onto Facebook and shared a photograph of Keola starting intently at her. She explained her situation and mentioned the fact that Keola had been staring at her like this for almost an hour. While Alhanna had remained relaxed about her dog’s behavior until now, her friends immediately felt this was not something to ignore. They told her to listen to Keola’s instinct and that it looked like she was trying to tell her something, despite the doctor’s feedback.
In the end, it was Alhanna’s mom, Amanda, who really gave Alhanna the final nudge. After seeing her Facebook post, Amanda instantly rang her daughter to tell her that the dog was trying to tell her something was wrong. Eventually, she persuaded her to go back to the hospital for more tests, adamant that Keola’s behavior was not a coincidence. The timing could not have been more precious, as when the mom-to-be arrived at the hospital, she collapsed and almost died.
The Chosen Ones
It turned out that Alhanna’s friends and mom were absolutely right and Keola was trying to tell her something. Alhanna and Ricky decided they wanted a dog after many months together and chose a Japanese Akita as they had heard that they were intelligent and protective. When the couple went to a local breeder in June 2014 to view her brother, they noticed Keola as she “chose them.” Despite going to view another, they ended up taking her home.
Starting A Family
Alhanna describes Keola as “the most amazing dog.” Eight months after taking her home, the childhood sweethearts decided to make their family just that bit more complete. They started trying for a baby but found they were not having much 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.” But Alhanna and Ricky had an interesting surprise awaiting them when they returned home…
A Beautiful Surprise
They disappointed couple received a shock when they arrived home. Keola had gone through the bin and had pulled out the pregnancy test that Alhanna had just thrown away. According to Alhanna, “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 reached for the used pregnancy test in front of Keola and couldn’t believe her eyes with what she saw.
Second Time Lucky
“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.” Feeling hopeful, Alhanna went to buy a more expensive test the next day. Outstandingly, the test revealed that she was two weeks pregnant. Alhanna decided to break the news to Ricky in an adorable way.
A Truly Special Dog
The healthcare assistant told her fiancé by writing a note as if it was written by Keola and attached it to her collar for Ricky to find and read. Understandably, they were both “over the moon” and realized that their dog was no ordinary dog. “We realized that Keola was truly a special dog who could detect things that we couldn’t.” This was not the first time that Keola proved herself to be special, she would soon save her owner’s life.
As mentioned, Alhanna became increasingly ill during her pregnancy. Keola would be attentive and wait by her side, even when she was sick in the bathroom. Alhanna recalled, “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.”
Not A Wimp
After her sickness and back pain became unbearable, Alhanna went to the hospital. However, she felt let down when the midwife told her the pain was only due to her small frame finding it hard to adapt to her physical changes. 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.”
The Only One
There was only one other that could understand what she was going through, and that was her dog Keola. “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.” It took a while but after feeling frustrated with being sick, Alhanna listened to her dog.
A Close Call
Taking on her mom’s advice about listening to her dog’s instincts turned out to be the best thing that she ever did. When Ricky took Alhanna back to the hospital the second time around in order to have more tests, she proved to the doctors and midwives that something was wrong. Immediately after arriving, Alhanna collapsed in the hospital corridor. Alhanna was rushed into intensive care while doctors attempted to save her life. She barely remembered the next two weeks…
Alhanna had spent the next few weeks in intensive care undergoing a series of examinations. She began to receive treatment for an antibiotic-resistant bug and a double kidney infection. Doctors made a point to say she would have died had she not come in that day. One day later and she may not have been so lucky. Alhanna could not believe her luck, but still, her baby had not yet been born. She still had a lot to overcome.
The doctors explained to Alhanna that she bug she was infected with was one which they had only seen once before. This meant they had to create a new antibiotic in the lab especially to treat her. She was placed on a serious antibiotic regimen and received the care she needed to reverse her kidney damage. A few weeks after her treatment ended, she gave birth to her beautiful, healthy boy. She and Ricky named him Lincoln. Meanwhile, Keola was waiting at home in anticipation.
An Emotional Reunion
Alhanna was hospitalized for almost a whole month and was lucky to be alive. She eventually managed to convince the doctors to allow her to return home for two hours, just for one reason, to assure her dog she was fine. Her fiancé Ricky filmed the emotional moment when the worried dog reunited with his owner. The dog was inevitably overwhelmed to see Alhanna was well. The next step was for Keola to meet the one she was most worried about, Lincoln.
A Predicted Relationship
As soon as Alhanna was ready to come with her new son, Keola was absolutely smitten with her new friend. Alhanna explained, “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.” And amazingly, Lincoln was not frightened by his furry friend at all. He even gave her kisses while she napped.
“I now know Keola was definitely trying to tell me something was wrong. I just wish I had listened to her sooner,” Alhanna later revealed. Every day she thinks about her close call with death and she cannot believe that her dog’s intuition was correct. If she had gone along with the doctor’s suggestion she would not have survived. Alhanna has complete trust in Keola being around Lincoln, “She loved him before any of us did – it was her who knew about him first.”
When Lincoln turned 13 weeks old, the family paid tribute to their dog in a video they called, “Thank you.” The video went viral on social media and accumulated over 4.5 million views. Alhanna has since said, “I have absolutely no doubt that both me and Lincoln would not be here today if it wasn’t for Keola.” This story really goes to show if your animal is acting weird, maybe it is best not to ignore it. Alhanna is certainly happy she didn’t!