Last fall we brought you the story of Duke, the dog who alerted the parents of a nine-week-old baby girl that their daughter had stopped breathing. Now Duke has received an award for his life-saving actions.
One night last fall, Jenna and Kevin Brousseau of Hartford, Connecticut were awakened by their dog Duke, who had jumped on their bed and began shaking uncontrollably. It was completely out of character for Duke to have done such a thing, so they knew something was wrong.
“If Duke hadn’t been so scared, we probably would have just gone to sleep,” Jenna explained.
The parents, trusting their dog’s instincts, checked on their baby, Harper, and found she wasn’t breathing. They called 911, and paramedics rushed to the home and revived her.
Duke was recently honored as a local hero by the American Red Cross Connecticut Chapter. The ceremony took place at a breakfast celebration sponsored by Wells Fargo. Other honorees included good Samaritans, firefighters, blood donors, an army reservist, a state representative and a law enforcement official. They were awarded for bravery, good deeds or community service that made a difference to others.
“Each year, I come away from this event awed by the extraordinary people we recognize,” said American Red Cross Connecticut and Rhode Island Region CEO Mario Bruno. “We celebrate these heroes, nominated by the public, and we honor the spirit of humanitarian service that they share with the American Red Cross.”
Harper is alive and healthy, thanks to Duke. The family, who had adopted him six years earlier, said they hope that Duke’s story will inspire others to adopt a shelter dog.
“He’s the perfect dog. He was meant to be ours, and meant to be hers,” Jenna said. “I tell him all the time ‘you were born in mommy’s heart,’ just because he was so meant to be ours. He’s heaven. He’s a good boy.”