Peeka was one of two dogs left of a litter of Lhasa Apso Poodle pups when the Anderson family went to pick out a new puppy for their daughter Mariel in 2002. When they arrived, the Anderson family noticed that one of the dogs was really well groomed, while the other was not. The Anderson’s chose the less groomed puppy and named her Peeka, which means “little one” in Norwegian and was Mariel’s nickname as a child.
February 3rd, 2007 was a very cold day. At 10:00 a.m. temperatures hovered around -29°, dropping to -39° with the wind chill, when Peeka started to whine and fuss at the back door of the family’s Saskatoon home. Ed Anderson glanced out the window, didn’t see anything, and just figured Peeka had heard someone walking by. They ignored her whining and barking for a few minutes, but her unusual persistence finally caused Ed to go and check again. When he looked outside he was stunned to see a bundle wrapped in a blanket on the frozen porch of his home. Initially he thought it may have been a kitten, but upon closer inspection, he heard a small cry and, with shock, he realized it was a newborn baby. Ed quickly rushed her inside with Peeka right on his heels and called for his wife Lee, who is a registered nurse at St. Paul’s Hospital, to come down and help. Lee was able to quickly determine the tiny baby was only a few hours old. The baby girl was extremely red and wrinkled from the cold, her little hands were like ice. Lee immediately wrapped the baby in a bath towel to warm her up while Ed called 911. Paramedics arrived within minutes and determined that she was breathing and had a pulse, but was hypothermic and needed immediate medical treatment. Paramedics said the baby couldn’t have been outside more than 15 minutes; otherwise the effects of the bitter cold weather would have been much worse.
The baby was taken to Royal University Hospital, treated for hypothermia and recovered in the neonatal intensive care unit. She was placed with the Department of Community Resources and Employment in foster care.
It is safe to say that fate played a part in the events that took place that February morning. The mother, or whoever abandoned the baby on the doorstep, didn’t ring the doorbell, nor did the family hear a car pull up to the house that morning. It was pure luck that the Andersons were home at the time, not to mention Lee Anderson’s training as a registered nurse that helped the baby immediately – even before paramedics could arrive – to further improve her chances of survival.
But if it wasn’t for Peeka’s insistence on that fateful day, this newborn baby girl would likely not have survived.