Yorkshire terrier Chewie was found tied up in a ‘shallow grave’ and rescued by Loretta and Ray Whiteley, of Leyland, Lancashire – a year later he saved Ray’s life in return when he had a heart attack at home
Image: The Kennel Club and Eleanor Riley)
A heroic dog has been nominated for the 2022 Crufts Hero Award after saving his owner’s life by jumping onto his chest while in cardiac arrest.
Loretta and Ray Whiteley, from Leyland, Lancashire, rescued Chewie as a puppy when he was found tied up with his paws and mouth stuck in a ‘shallow grave’.
A year later, the loyal pup returned the favor by performing “CPR” on Ray when he stopped breathing.
The 4kg little dog jumped up and down on Ray’s chest “with all his might” to keep his owner alive.
“Without Chewie, Ray would have died – and that would have been the end of my whole world,” Loretta told the Mirror.
The Kennel Club and Eleanor Riley)
Subscribe to our TeamDogs Newsletter for your weekly dose of dog news, pictures and stories.
Loretta, 56, and Ray, 55, adopted Chewie when they were 12 weeks old after they were found buried in a black bin bag in a stranger’s garden.
Chewie isn’t an official support dog, but he’s taken Ray, who has progressive multiple sclerosis, under his wing.
In 2018, Loretta was in the garden hanging up her washing when she heard Yorkshire terrier Chewie barking loudly inside.
“I dropped everything and went inside. Chewie was frantically bouncing off Ray’s chest and licking his face,” she explained.
One of the tricks Loretta and Ray taught Chewie early on was to perform ‘CPR’ on their fellow rescue dogs, Sheba and Messi – although they never thought he’d need the help. ‘use.
Loretta describes it as a “surreal moment” when she saw Ray having a heart attack right before her eyes.
“I checked his pulse and realized he wasn’t breathing,” Loretta recalled. “I thought he was dead.”
The Kennel Club and Eleanor Riley)
Loretta continued: “Chewie wouldn’t let go but I dragged Ray on the floor and gave him CPR while phoning for an ambulance.
“They were absolutely amazing and arrived so quickly.”
Ray left home with a defibrillator on his chest and spent the next five weeks in hospital.
“If Chewie hadn’t reacted the way he did, I would have missed it and Ray wouldn’t be here,” Loretta said.
Luckily, there hasn’t been another situation like this since – although Chewie still keeps tabs on Ray.
“If Ray is breathing in a particular way, Chewie jumps on him and licks his face until he realizes Ray is fine,” Loretta explained.
In addition to saving his life, Chewie gave Ray a “second life” and helped him regain his confidence.
The heroic Yorkie has also had a positive impact on others – helping Loretta raise over £5,000 for animal charities and pets in need.
Loretta describes five-year-old Chewie as “absolutely bonkers” but says “he has a heart of gold”.
She couldn’t be more proud of Chewie for being nominated as a finalist for the 2022 Kennel Club Hero Dog Award.
“I thought someone was playing a prank – I screamed when I got the call,” Loretta said.
“For both of us, it means the world. We saved his life when we adopted him and now he’s saved Ray’s.”
Chewie was nominated alongside four other outstanding dogs.
Golden retriever Milo is a special guide dog who gave his life and family back to a former dairy farmer.
Fire Investigation Dog Simba helped convict two murderers following a fatal fire last year.
Newfoundland, Storm, Sonar, Bob and Walker, are recognized for their unique hydrotherapy for suicide prevention and frontline emergency services.
And golden retriever Ruby brings love and support to a young girl with cerebral palsy, helping her with pain, anxiety and stress on a daily basis.
The Kennel Club Hero Dog Award winner will receive £5,000 for the dog charity of their choice, with other runners-up receiving a £1,000 donation to the dog charity of their choice.
The Hero Dog will be unveiled on Sunday, March 13 in the Resorts World Arena at Crufts.
Do you have a dog story to share? Contact us at [email protected]