Rescued pit bull credited for helping to save owner's life

Rescued Pit Bull Saves Owner's Life

BOSTON (WCVB) -- A rescued pit bull is being called a hero for helping to save her owner's life after finding him unresponsive in his West Roxbury home.

On May 2, Sweet Dee, a 6-year-old pit bull, found her owner, Elliott Nerland, unresponsive on his couch in full cardiac arrest.

That's when Sweet Dee, who was adopted five years ago by Nerland and his wife, Erin Daly, from the MSPCA's Boston adoption center, jumped into action.

Sweet Dee started barking and raced to the couple's bedroom and started to nudge Daly awake.

She immediately called 911 and started CPR.

Rescued pit bull saves owner's life (used in article #21200174)
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Rescued pit bull credited for helping to save owner's life
(Photo courtesy: WCVB)
(Photo courtesy: WCVB)
(Photo courtesy: WCVB)
(Photo courtesy: WCVB)
(Photo courtesy: WCVB)
(Photo courtesy: WCVB)

"At this stage, Elliott's heart had stopped and he was not breathing," Daly said. "I credit Sweet Dee with making it very clear that something was terribly wrong. Had I made it there even one minute later, Elliott may not be with us today."

Nerland, who has a rare heart condition, was taken to a hospital and spent several days in a medically-induced coma.

He has since returned home.

"It's just astounding how Sweet Dee knew that something was very wrong and that it was clear to her that I wasn't sleeping," Nerland said. "She's a beloved member of our family, but I never realized just how deep our bond is. Both Dee and my wife were there for me when I needed them most, and I'm forever humbled and profoundly grateful."

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