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Dog Rescues Boy with Downs

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Sometimes you read a story that makes the little hairs on your arms stand on end. This story, written by Lane DeGregory of the St. Petersburg Times, blew our minds. Here's the gist:

Yolanda Segovia pets RaeLee, the found dog she credits with saving the life of her son Christian Mas

Vivian Manning-Schaffel: One morning, 47-year-old divorced mom of two Yolanda Segovia was given an abandoned terrier found by her neighbor. Yolanda's plate was full, but she agreed to hang on to the pooch for a day.

After extensive efforts to locate the dog's owner, she, along with her two sons, eventually bought the dog a bed and a leash. They even gave him a name: RaeLee. And the dog made himself at home.

"Don't fall in love with him," Yolanda repeatedly warned her sons.

Yolanda's elder 21-year-old son, Christian, has Down syndrome and an array of other ailments. He has had heart surgery and a kidney transplant. He can't speak or bathe himself.

When the boys climbed into their bunk beds at night, the dog dragged his bed from Yolanda's living room, down the long hall, into their room.

Four days later, they still had the dog. He was starting to answer to his new name. And he almost never barked.

On Saturday, Christian retreated to his room to watch a Barney video. RaeLee dozed beside him. Yolanda had just stepped onto her porch to water the plants when the dog flung himself into the screen door, barking madly.

As she opened the door, RaeLee sprinted across the living room, into the boys' room.
Yolanda screamed. Christian was slumped over, his body writhing in a seizure, blood streaming from his nose and mouth.

RaeLee ran to the boy, still yelping. But as soon as Yolanda bent to cradle her son, the dog went silent. "If he hadn't come to get me," Yolanda told her neighbor, "the neurologist said Christian would have choked on his own blood and died." Since no one had claimed the dog, Yolanda decided to keep him.

The next morning, a man who lives six blocks from Yolanda recognized RaeLee from a flyer and got in touch with her neighbor to claim him. He'd been searching for the dog for more than a week. The neighbor told him about how he saved Yolanda's son.

When the owner showed up at Yolanda's house to claim RaeLee, her younger son stood on the porch, crying. "We're going to miss you," he called.

The owner saw this, and noticed Christian's frightened face in the window. The clincher? He gave RaeLee to Yolanda and her kids, saying, "Maybe he was supposed to find you."

Got chills yet? How cool is that?


next: Kidnapped Girl Slept in Tents for 18 Years
73 comments so far | Post a comment now
Dani August 28, 2009, 6:36 PM

I literally have tears running down my face! This is AMAZING! What a special story! Dogs do not get the respect they deserve. They are alert, communicative, smart, amazing, loveable and loyal and all they ask in return is love, affection, snuggling, playing, some walks, belly rubs, food, water, treats, a safe home to live in, a comfy bed and some toys & vet visits. It’s not alot to ask for and they are so amzing! I learn everyday from my rescues. They teach me unconditional love, they raise my spirits on days when I am blah and they greet me with a rock star welcome everytime I come home! I hope more people rescue and learn to respect these amazing animals!

Etna August 28, 2009, 10:20 PM

What a moving story. Animals never cease to amaze me!

Charles August 28, 2009, 10:59 PM

Man’s best friend indeed.

Wendi August 28, 2009, 11:03 PM

That is so awsome!! How blessed they are for having that dog. For the man that gave up his dog, he is a saint :)

Dani August 29, 2009, 12:41 AM

Yes I would like to add that the man who lovingly gave up his dog is an Angel who walks the earth without his wings!! God Bless him!

C August 29, 2009, 10:39 AM

I really like this story too! Very sweet.

I wish Momlogic hadn’t referred to the 21-year old as “Boy” in the title though. He may have developmental disabilities and be dependent on caregivers, but he isn’t a child. The source article didn’t call him a boy.

Arianne Wulfhorst October 23, 2009, 1:09 PM

This story literally brought tears to my eyes.
Dogs are amazing creatures and should be respected and treated as such.
And what a good neighbour for letting them keep it.

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