The remarkable power of the human-dog connection was proven, once again, when a man in a coma was awaked the moment his dog entered the hospital room and barked.
Cancer survivor Andy Szasz was hospitalized in December after falling ill with pneumonia.
When he stopped breathing, doctors at the Southampton General Hospital in England placed Szasz into a medically induced coma where he was expected to remain for at least a week.
To the doctors’ amazement, Szasz awoke after only 4 days, at the very moment his best friend and companion, a 4-year old Schnauzer/Poodle mix named Teddy, entered his hospital room and barked.
While waiting for him to come out of his coma, Szasz’s wife, Estelle, was granted special permission to bring Teddy into his room for a visit.
“Ted is such a remarkable little dog in many ways,” Szasz said in a statement. “He’s clever, loving, loyal, funny and a right little character. I always tell people I rescued Ted and Ted rescued me. We certainly do have a special bond.”
For his part in helping his human make such a remarkable and unexpected recovery, Teddy is being recognized by U.K.’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), the very same organization Andy adopted him from in 2012, just 3 months before being diagnosed with cancer.
The awards, an event to honor organizations and individuals that advocate for animals and saved lives every year, created a new animal category just so Teddy could be honored.
Other honorees included The Smokey Paws Project, an organization that equips rescue vehicles with pet oxygen masks in the U.K., and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who campaigns for humane treatment of farm animals.