The amazing dog who saved a toddler’s life by waking her mother as she choked


A rescue dog called Rufus became a hero when he saved the life of a little girl who was choking by rushing to wake up the toddler’s mum. The pooch ran to get Emily Gunnion when her daughter Betsy, 21, was sick and began choking.

Rufus, who is a labrador and springer spaniel cross, barked and tugged Ms Gunnion’s arm until he managed to wake her up. Ms Gunnion said she realised that something was badly wrong as soon as she woke and dashed to her daughter’s bed in time to clear her airways.

CafĂ© boss Ms Gunnion said she had dropped off to sleep after she had been awake all night caring for Betsy as she had a tummy bug. She described the pet, who she had only got a few days beforehand, as a lifesaver. She said that Rufus was amazing and had saved her daughter’s life.


She explained that she was exhausted after being up all night and that Rufus half jumped up on her bed and was scratching and barking to alert her. The mum said when she rushed over to Betsy, she realised that her daughter was being sick and choking. When Ms Gunnion picked her up, she managed to be sick properly and recovered. She added that she dreaded to think what might have happened if Rufus had not been there at the time.

Ms Gunnion was fostering Rufus as she volunteers for Labradors in Need, which finds new homes for rescued labradors. However, even though he is a hero, Ms Gunnion says she already has two dogs and is unable to keep him. She is fostering him until he finds his forever home. While Rufus has previously broken his leg, meaning it is a little misshapen, he does not let his previous injury slow him down.