Rose and AnnaPenny Wheeler and her husband watched with great concern as their neighbor’s dog paced back and forth. They had never seen Anna May, the pit bull terrier owned by their neighbor Rochelle Earl out of the house without a leash.
Anna May’s pacing also caught the attention of a local passerby, who pulled into Earl’s driveway when she saw what looked like a person lying on the garage floor. In the garage (which faces away from the Wheeler home), the good Samaritan found an unconscious Earl and immediately flagged down a police officer that was spotted down the street.
In the commotion, Wheeler ran to Earl’s side.
“If it wasn’t for her pacing and staying close, we would have never known what was going on,” Wheeler said. “She caught that person’s attention too.”
The police officer called in an ambulance, which rushed Earl to the hospital where it was determined that Earl had suffered an adverse reaction to a new medication.
In 2012 Earl was diagnosed with takotsubo cardiomyopathy, which is commonly referred to as broken heart syndrome. According to Harvard Health, takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber, usually as the result of severe emotional or physical stress. Since the diagnosis, Earl has battled congestive heart disease and strokes, most of which have confined her indoors.
The day of the incident, however, she decided to venture out on her own to work in the garden. She had been in the sun for a while before going into the garage to cool down. The next thing she knew, she was in the back of an ambulance.
“She rescued me from near death,” Earl said of Anna May. “I guess she repaid it.”
Earl had rescued Anna May from the Ingham County animal control nearly three years ago. She said she knew immediately that they had a connection.
“She always checks me over, just like a nurse,” Earl said. “She’s always making sure I’m ok.”
Earl said she would like to thank the good Samaritan, whom she never got to speak to, as well as the police and local EMS for such a quick response.