Published: 00:01, 29 April 2014
A Margate dog owner owes her life to the poodle that has rescued her from the brink of death several times.
Poppy has been a constant companion to Leaha Bunt, of Crescent Road, through her struggles with serious health issues - including a heart attack, depression and diabetes.
On several occasions, she has raised the alarm to get help when the 39-year-old's life has been in jeopardy.
Poppy, five, is practised at fetching her owner's mobile phone and bringing it to her when she has fallen or collapsed.
On such occasions, she has lain with Leaha for comfort until help has arrived.
Leaha was in a downward spiral after her husband of just nine months died suddenly six years ago due to an aggressive cancer.
She said: "After that I was very lonely and suicidal and I decided to get a dog. I went to see poodle puppies I had seen advertised and Poppy was the only one who came running up to me."
On one occasion, Leaha had gone to bed. Poppy had "grabbed" her hand and started pulling, had licked her face and hair and pawed at her.
Leaha had woken with "really bad chest pains" and said her vision had been "like looking through a tunnel".
Poppy had "barked, cried and howled" until help arrived. Her owner had had a heart attack.
Another time, she had fallen unconscious in a diabetic coma.
"Poppy was crying and howling until a friend came," said Leaha. "They could not wake me up and found Poppy lying on my stomach.
"I have taken overdoses a few times after losing my husband. Once when this happened, my aunt was here. Poppy got hold of her skirt and started pulling her to the bedroom where I was."
Leaha suffers from sciatica, which causes pain and problems with her hips and spine, also affected by curvature.
"Sometimes I can't get out of bed and there have been quite a few times when I have fallen down and can't get up," said Leaha.
"Poppy licks my face gets my mobile and brings it to me so I can get help.
"Poppy knows when I am ill and when I am upset or when something is wrong. She brightens up my life.
"I talk to her and she listens with her head on one side and her little ears twitching. She is very loyal, she is one in a million. I think she deserves a medal."
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