MOUNT FOREST, ONTARIO
When Caroline McColl adopted a Cairn Terrier, which she named Jellie Jill, she had no idea what an important role the little dog would play in her life.
Debilitated over the past few years by a series of strokes that have left her partially blind and with diminished mobility, Caroline soon found that Jellie Jill had some very special talents.
Prone to migraines, Caroline found that the dog can predict their onset by pulling at her pant leg until she lies down. The dog then sits quietly beside her until the migraine passes. Jellie Jill has also stopped Caroline from walking in front of moving vehicles by pulling on her leash or barking loudly.
One afternoon in March, 2004, Caroline had returned home, turned on the oven, and then inadvertently fallen asleep. The next thing she remembered was the dog nipping at her, licking her face, bouncing around frantically on the bed. Caroline’s bed is elevated to accommodate her physical disabilities, and the terrier had never been able to jump that high before.
As she awoke, Caroline heard popping sounds in the kitchen. The stove had shorted out, and an electrical fire was in progress. One entire wall was ablaze. She grabbed Jellie Jill, and managed to get downstairs and out of the building.
Firefighters determined that Jellie Jill’s quick actions had very likely prevented flames from gutting the apartment in the old brick building.
Caroline has no doubt about the life-saving role played many times by her companion: “If Jellie had not woken me that afternoon, I wouldn’t be here. She is my hero, my angel, and my best friend.”