Meet Champ, the disabled dog who sensed trouble and saved his owner’s life

Meet Champ, the disabled dog who sensed trouble and saved his owner’s life

It’s well known that dogs are man’s best friend, but recently a dog took that bond to a heroic level by saving his owner’s life during a heart attack. “Camp saved my life and I am forever grateful,” Andrew Kuzyk of Georgia told Newsweek, recounting how his faithful dog alerted others when he suffered a sudden heart attack.

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Andrew Kuzyk from Georgia shared his story with Newsweek, saying, “My health was not good and I was already disabled before the heart attack. But the heart attack came out of nowhere.”

One day, while watching television with his two-legged rescue dog Champ on his lap, Kuzyk felt something was wrong.

“I felt my chest tighten and Champ, sensing something was wrong, lay on my chest, moaning more as the pain increased,” he recalled.

Andrew Kuzyk with his dog, Champ/ Newsweek

Champ’s unusual behavior prompted Kuzyk’s wife to immediately call an ambulance.

This quick response was vital in saving Kuzyk’s life. During his medical emergency, Andrew’s heart stopped twice during open heart surgery.

“Champ’s ability to detect heart attack just came out of nowhere,” Kuzyk said.

Although he was not trained in emergency situations, Champ’s instincts and close bond with Kuzyk helped him sense the crisis.

Dogs have heightened senses and can detect various health issues, including emotions, illnesses, and changes in physiological state. However, medical alert dogs, like cardiac alert dogs, require extensive training.

According to Service Dog Training School International (SDTSI), a cardiac assistance dog is trained to detect changes in heart rate and blood pressure and will alert its owners by pawing, nudging or barking when a event occurs.

Two-year-old Champ faces his own challenges. Born without front legs, he spends a large part of his time on his back legs. His owners had previously tried to raise money to buy him a wheelchair, but without success.


Now well recovered from his heart attack, Kuzyk feels his bond with Champ has become even stronger. “In the end, Champ saved my life from certain death. Champ and I have a bond that will last our entire lives,” Kuzyk said.

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