Hero dog saves life of owner John Hockaday

Daily Echo: John Hockaday with wife Doreen and terrier Charlie John Hockaday with wife Doreen and terrier Charlie

A HEROIC rescue dog saved its blind owner’s life by lying across his unconscious body and howling and barking in Southampton.

Charlie, a two-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, raised the alarm when his owner John Hockaday, 52, collapsed.

Paramedics said that if Mr Hockaday – who is blind and diabetic – had been lying on the floor for another five minutes, he would have died.

The dog “doesn’t usually bark” and “never howls” but its natural instinct kicked in when it saw its diabetic owner fall in the living room.

He rushed over to Mr Hockaday before lying across his body – which had dropped in temperature from its normal 36 degrees celsius to just 30.

The quick-thinking canine licked his face, howled and barked gaining the attention of Mr Hockaday’s 24-year-old son Clint who was walking past their home in Southampton.

After hearing the howling, Clint knew something was wrong and went inside, as the door was on the latch.

Clint immediately rang his mother Doreen who had popped into the city centre.

When she left her husband at 1.30pm, he had a normal sugar level reading of ninel. But after just 60 minutes, his sugar level had plummeted to just one, which caused him to collapse on the floor.

Full-time carer Doreen, 44, said: “I left some food on the side just in case he got hungry and he thought his sugar level was getting too low.

“When we were on our way back, Clint phoned us and was crying saying ‘Dad has collapsed on the floor and I can’t wake him up’.

“I got my daughter to phone the ambulance, who were there when we arrived back at the house.

“It was a miracle that Clint was walking to the shop and heard Charlie howling – he never howls or barks.

“Charlie wouldn’t even budge when Clint tried to pull him off his dad to put him in the recovery position.

“If it wasn’t for Charlie lying on John, howling and barking, he would have died.”

Mr Hockaday, a father of four, has been a diabetic for 29 years and was first diagnosed when he was 23 years old. He became blind in 2010 after being diagnosed with glaucoma – which is a result of the diabetes.

John has no recollection of what happened. He finally woke up six hours later, after he was taken to the Queen Alexandra hospital in Portsmouth.

Mrs Hockaday added: “The paramedics placed eight blankets over John’s body when they arrived.

“They told me that if John had been lying there for another five minutes, he would have died.

“Charlie is definitely the hero in the family. He doesn’t leave John’s side and the two are inseparable.”

After his heroics, Charlie, who was adopted by the family from their local Blue Cross centre, has been put forward to receive a medal.

Megan Baverstock, from Blue Cross Southampton rehoming centre, said: “This is such a remarkable story and just goes to show the difference dogs can make to people’s lives.”

Comments (12)

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10:13am Mon 17 Feb 14

roofspace says...

Does anybody else find it strange he was taken to the Queen Alexandra hospital in Portsmouth.
Was the General on "Red Alert"?
Does anybody else find it strange he was taken to the Queen Alexandra hospital in Portsmouth. Was the General on "Red Alert"? roofspace
  • Score: -3

12:21pm Mon 17 Feb 14

Ifyoulike says...

It's black alert you numpty
It's black alert you numpty Ifyoulike
  • Score: 0

12:22pm Mon 17 Feb 14

Ifyoulike says...

And actually entirely possible at this time of year
And actually entirely possible at this time of year Ifyoulike
  • Score: 4

1:37pm Mon 17 Feb 14

justalice says...

clearly not a staffy... daily echo learn your dog breeds!
clearly not a staffy... daily echo learn your dog breeds! justalice
  • Score: 7

2:13pm Mon 17 Feb 14

chimneysweep 1234 says...

How does he know the time he was barking and lying on the owner with him in coma ..mmm big tail there me think
How does he know the time he was barking and lying on the owner with him in coma ..mmm big tail there me think chimneysweep 1234
  • Score: -4

5:00pm Mon 17 Feb 14

elvisimo says...

justalice wrote:
clearly not a staffy... daily echo learn your dog breeds!
What is it the smart a rse?
[quote][p][bold]justalice[/bold] wrote: clearly not a staffy... daily echo learn your dog breeds![/p][/quote]What is it the smart a rse? elvisimo
  • Score: 2

8:35pm Mon 17 Feb 14

forest hump says...

elvisimo wrote:
justalice wrote:
clearly not a staffy... daily echo learn your dog breeds!
What is it the smart a rse?
Looks like no one understood "what is it the smart a rse". However, I'd say it was probably a Smithy dog.
[quote][p][bold]elvisimo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]justalice[/bold] wrote: clearly not a staffy... daily echo learn your dog breeds![/p][/quote]What is it the smart a rse?[/p][/quote]Looks like no one understood "what is it the smart a rse". However, I'd say it was probably a Smithy dog. forest hump
  • Score: -2

6:26am Tue 18 Feb 14

roofspace says...

Ifyoulike wrote:
It's black alert you numpty
Not if you're a Trekkie.............
....................
.......Dipstick
[quote][p][bold]Ifyoulike[/bold] wrote: It's black alert you numpty[/p][/quote]Not if you're a Trekkie............. .................... .......Dipstick roofspace
  • Score: -1

11:31am Wed 19 Feb 14

daisy.talks says...

looks like a staffy cross. regardless, a hero dog and so lucky the son was walking past :D xxx
looks like a staffy cross. regardless, a hero dog and so lucky the son was walking past :D xxx daisy.talks
  • Score: 2

3:27pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Major Sir Jerry Pending says...

Son phones mum, mum phones daughter, daughter phones ambulance. Would have thought son could have phoned ambulance!
Son phones mum, mum phones daughter, daughter phones ambulance. Would have thought son could have phoned ambulance! Major Sir Jerry Pending
  • Score: 3

4:56pm Wed 19 Feb 14

greyfeather says...

Well done Charlie. Nice to hear a GOOD story about dogs after a lot of the recent news!
Well done Charlie. Nice to hear a GOOD story about dogs after a lot of the recent news! greyfeather
  • Score: 3

5:48pm Wed 19 Feb 14

happydayss says...

being there daughter-in-law a) charlies a staffy cross. b) he was taken to the QA as this is where the care he needs is (attends dialysis 3 times a week there, so the nurses know him and his care plan pretty well!) c) there daughter was with doreen in the car and they rang because they know his medical history inside out and back to front and clint hasnt lived at home since he was 16 so wouldn't know his details! Think some people need to look a little more into facts before you start commenting, pretty sure if it was your family you wouldn't give a sh1t as long as you knew your family member was being taken care of.
being there daughter-in-law a) charlies a staffy cross. b) he was taken to the QA as this is where the care he needs is (attends dialysis 3 times a week there, so the nurses know him and his care plan pretty well!) c) there daughter was with doreen in the car and they rang because they know his medical history inside out and back to front and clint hasnt lived at home since he was 16 so wouldn't know his details! Think some people need to look a little more into facts before you start commenting, pretty sure if it was your family you wouldn't give a sh1t as long as you knew your family member was being taken care of. happydayss
  • Score: 23

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