Many people go to animal shelters to give pets a forever home.
However, little did one Albuquerque woman know, the dog whose life she was saving would save hers.
The family of Kennedy Badgett can now breathe a sigh of relief, all thanks to a dog she adopted from The City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department.
“We went there for my husband. What he wanted to do was get a little puppy,” said Badgett.
Diesel was found in a box in an arroyo. He’s also not your average pup.
“We just kind of fell in love. We weren’t looking for a service dog,” said Badgett.
Badgett suffers from a number of health complications, including Ehlers-danlos syndrome. Behçet’s disease, and Dysautonomia.
These ailments cause her to have heart issues, faint and have trouble hearing.
It was during one of these episodes that Badgett made a discovery.
“All of a sudden I passed out. My husband said he started barking in the back seat and he jumped through the middle. He laid on top of me kissing my face. Then the second I woke up, he jumped back into the back seat and went to sleep,” said Badgett.
Badgett believes Diesel has a natural ability to sense when she has a change in blood pressure and about to fall.
“Once he started to show me his natural instincts it was absolutely amazing. So we started training him from there,” said Badgett.
While it may seem like a natural ability, officials from Animal Welfare say they don’t hear about this often.
“We are thrilled about Diesel. It is rare to see a puppy flourish like that and be a service dog right away. We do have amazing pets here,” said Desiree Cawley, Marketing Manager, CABQ Animal Welfare Department.
Over the past year, Badgett has been training Diesel to become a service dog.
He is helping her with everyday tasks like kitchen chores, getting the mail, and as Badgett would call it, helping her live a “normal life.”
“Everything, absolutely everything that I do he kind of helps with and it’s natural I didn’t teach him any of that,” said Badgett.
Diesel’s care is has provided a relief for Badgett’s family.
“Not only does it give me confidence when she gets out and about and doing life in general, there’s a sense of security knowing that should something happen to her, she’s not alone,” said Karyn Badgett, mother.
The Animal Welfare Department says they only know of a few instances in which a dog who was adopted ended up becoming a service dog; one of which went on to help a boy with Epilepsy.
The Animal Welfare Department is hosting a National Pit Bull Awareness Day event and pet adoption on Saturday, October 27, at all city animal shelters.
The National Pit Bull Awareness campaign is a nationwide effort to bring positive awareness about pit bulls.