K’os, a two-year-old Neapolitan Mastiff, was adopted by the Guindon family at three months of age.
An obedient dog with a sweet temperament, K’os rarely barks or causes trouble. While he was originally brought into the household as a pet for the boys Chase and Hunter, K’os went from family pet to family hero when his quick-thinking saved Hunter’s life.
In 2009, Linda and Jason Guindon’s 14-year-old son, Hunter, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a critical condition that affects the lungs and can cause difficulty breathing. Three months following Hunter’s diagnosis, Linda and Jason were awoken one night by K’os, who ran into their bedroom barking furiously and jumping on their bed. K’os then ran from Linda and Jason’s bedroom to Hunter’s room, and continued to bark while running back and forth between the rooms. Jason and Linda were immediately concerned by his behaviour, as K’os seldom barks and is usually very calm. Puzzled, Jason decided to go downstairs to check the front door, while Linda followed K’os into Hunter’s room.
Linda turned on the lights to discover K’os standing over Hunter, who was violently convulsing. His face appeared grey in colour and he wasn’t breathing. Hunter was having a severe seizure, and his mouth had filled with fluid, which was causing him to choke. Terrified, Linda immediately rushed to Hunter’s side and turned him over to help clear his airway. Linda held her son and cried for Jason to call 911 while she continued to help clear Hunter’s airway. Hunter was taken to the hospital, where it was determined that he had experienced a life-threatening grand mal seizure. Hunter had experienced seizures as a baby, but this was his first in over 11 years. Hunter was later diagnosed with epilepsy.
Linda and Jason truly believe that had it not been for K’os and his lightning-fast response to Hunter’s seizure that frightful night, their son would not be with them today. Although the Guindons know that Hunter’s epileptic episodes will continue, they take comfort in knowing that K’os is always by Hunter’s side and will stay extra close when he is having a more difficult day. K’os is truly a member of the Guindon’s family, not only as a beloved pet, but also as Hunter’s true hero and protector.