Dog’s Lifesaving Efforts Help Owner Survive a Seizure

When Amanda and Billy adopted Charlotte, they knew she had a knack for service. But she far exceeded their expectations when she saved Billy’s life.

Amanda + Charlotte

When Amanda and Billy met a dog named Charlotte, she felt like a familiar friend. Little did they know that Charlotte would end up saving Billy’s life, proving herself to be an incredible guardian and service dog for her parents.

"Charlotte was running up and down the stairs barking, trying to tell me something. I shot out of bed and followed Charlotte, who led me down to our basement studio I saw Billy on the floor in the middle of a seizure, and immediately called 911."

It was just a regular night. My husband Billy and I were sitting on the couch, watching a movie, and enjoying snuggles with Charlotte, our rescue dog from One Tail at a Time. We decided to head to bed, and Charlotte followed behind us, straight to her bed next to Billy’s side. 

The next thing I remember is waking up to Charlotte next to me, barking. She never comes to my side of the bed at night, and especially never barks. My first reaction was to roll over and wake Billy up, then I realized that he wasn’t next to me and I knew something wasn’t right. Charlotte was running up and down the stairs barking, trying to tell me something. I shot out of bed and followed Charlotte, who led me down to our basement studio where Billy works on his music on nights when he can’t sleep. 

I saw Billy on the floor in the middle of a seizure and immediately called 911. The operator told me to hold Billy’s head, and Charlotte was right there with me licking Billy’s face and arms the whole time, anxiously wiggling. Thankfully an ambulance came very quickly and took Billy to the hospital. I still don’t have a clue how Charlotte knew that Billy needed help from two floors away. She truly saved Billy’s life that night—she made sure I knew something was wrong and stuck beside us both until she knew he was safe. I do not like to think about it, but who knows what Billy’s state would be now if she hadn’t woken me up and led me to find him.

When Billy hears about that night, he has no words. Before we adopted Charlotte, Billy had some TBI issues that started in 2012, and we had wanted a companion animal to help keep an eye on him. As soon as we first met Charlotte, Billy felt like she was just an old pal. He doesn’t know how else to describe it, but it instantly felt like Charlotte just wanted to be his friend. She was eager and interested in what Billy was doing, and it made her the perfect dog to train to do service work. So we started training her on “look,” “see,” “watch,” and “listen,” to pay attention to what Billy was saying and doing, and how he was acting. She was so attentive, paying much more attention than we noticed at first. She was eager to learn and make us happy. 

Billy very much credits Charlotte with saving his life that night, in that she knew it was her job to let me know that Billy wasn’t okay and to stay with us until help arrived. She has more than proven that she is an attentive and caring companion and a great guardian of her people. We are so fortunate we found Charlotte and have her in our lives.

Each year, Petco Love Stories invites adopters to share how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Amanda won One Tail at a Time in Chicago, Illinois a 2021 Love Stories award.