Most pet owners are aware their animals are highly in tune with their surroundings. However, for one woman, the reason for her pup’s barking alluded her until it became clear that her life was in danger.
She would soon realize that dog was trying to warn her of something that could affect the entire neighborhood… and it was lurking right in her backyard.
When rescue dog, Kailey, started barking and wouldn’t stop on the morning of December 30th, 2016, her owner instantly knew something was off.
Despite her trust issues as a rescue dog, they knew their girl wouldn’t react like this to a simple bird or a cat. Something more sinister was afoot and she could smell it.
When Jaqueline and Keith first adopted Kailey from DeKalb County Animal Services, she had been there for almost a year. In fact, when they first met her, she was on the verge of being put down.
Her heroic actions would prove everyone in the shelter wrong and show that every single dog is worth taking a chance on.
New Foster Parents
Keith Santer-Perham and Jacqueline Berlin decided to take a chance on the skittish Kailey by fostering her. She had a tendency to snap at humans due to broken trust and Keith and Jacqueline knew that she needed someone who could be there for her 24/7.
They never could have imagined how one Facebook post could save so many lives.
Finding Her Forever Home
Jacqueline reached out on Facebook for someone looking for a “velcro dog” who was super loving but needed loads of attention. Her call was answered by a lady called Suzy Chandler. “We just thought we would be the perfect people for her,” Suzy explained.
Little did Suzy realize that Kailey was about to do something that would both surprise and frighten her.
After bringing Kailey home, Suzy had the lingering doubts that anyone bringing a new pet into the house would have.
Suzy was worried that Kailey wouldn’t get along with her other pets. Kailey had already been through a lot in her life. Would she be able to fit in, or had she been through too much?
No Issues Yet
Suzy was anxious to ensure Kailey settled in. The first day they brought her home was hopeful. She was over the moon when Kailey got along with their other dogs and their cat. Everything seemed perfect.
A few days later, however, and Suzi would realize that her pets coexisting peacefully was actually the least of her worries.
Seemed To Be Doing Well
Kailey had settled in nicely at her new home and had even bonded with Suzy’s other dog. Instead of being scared, Kailey quickly began to adapt and even started to trust humans again.
Because of this, her behavior on that morning in December came as a shock. And Suzy had no idea what she had done wrong.
That morning, Suzy found Kailey standing stock-still in the kitchen. All the hair on her back was raised and she was making a low growling sound. Suzy tried to coax her out of her state with some breakfast, but Kailey wouldn’t move or even respond.
Suzy’s heart sank. After all her progress, what was going on?
Kailey’s demeanor had changed suddenly, and although Suzy had only known her for a short period of time, she knew something had to be very wrong.
She knew Kailey wouldn’t bark and growl for no reason. Suzy fed her and set aside some time to play with her, but still, she growled and barked throughout the morning. What was upsetting her new dog so much?
It Didn’t Make Sense
It had taken a few days for Kailey to warm up to Suzy, but she had become as sweet as any other dog. It just made no sense. Suzy knew she had to figure out what to do. She wracked her brain, trying to find an answer. Then, it hit her.
Maybe she could let Kailey show her what was wrong?
The constant growling was putting Suzy on edge and she needed to put a stop to it. She took her brave and protective pooch, Kailey, on the leash with her and marched outside to face whatever it was head-on.
They went outside and Kailey started dragging Suzy towards a corner. Suzy sniffed the air and her eyes grew wide.
“She pulled me directly over to the side yard,” Suzy said. “Right away, I smelled overpowering gas and [heard] a loud whooshing sound.”
It was suddenly clear that Kailey had been trying to warn her about the danger that had been lurking in her yard all morning. Without a moment to lose, Suzy whipped out her phone.
By barking and growling for the entire day, Kailey had tried to warn her owner about the gas leak in the only way she knew how.
She somehow knew that the leak could have serious consequences for her owner, and indeed the entire neighborhood. And for the first time that day, Suzy finally knew exactly what to do.
A Dangerous Situation
“I just don’t take chances on people’s lives like this. It is a dangerous situation,” Suzy explained in an interview.
Just like Lassie saved Timmy, Kailey’s barking had alerted Suzy to leave the vicinity immediately and call 911. She banged down all her neighbor’s doors to alert them to leave before anything terrible happened.
It wasn’t long before the neighborhood was filled with the sound of sirens and flashing lights. The firefighters immediately leaped into action. They had to find out how far the gas leak had spread.
Kailey sat and watched everything unfold in complete silence — quiet for the first time all day. But it didn’t take long for the media to get wind of the story…
“She is our hero dog,” Suzy said proudly. But Suzy’s love for Kailey was apparent even before the pup’s heroic act.
With local media outlets scrambling to interview her, Suzy decided to use her and her rescue dog’s newfound fame as an opportunity. She intended to raise awareness about a topic that’s very close to her heart…
“If you have room in your heart to take in a needy animal…it comes back to you tenfold,” Suzy said tearfully.
She implores people to look into pet adoption and give a rescue animal a second chance. People like Jacqueline and Suzy know just how special — and heroic — a dog can be!
A Real-Life Lassie
Kailey became somewhat of a social media star after her heroic actions. Suzy was interviewed by multiple news broadcasters and she and Kailey are recognized wherever they go.
Following a ‘ruff’ start in life, Kailey has gone viral as a real-life Lassie as well as a loyal and loving pooch. So what’s the moral of this story?
Kailey’s life began with misery and she was almost on the verge of being put down until that fateful day she was saved. Had Kailey been put down, who knows what would have happened… not only to Suzy, but to her entire neighborhood that day!
It just goes to show that every single life, no matter how big or small, is capable of making a difference.