Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. Many people think that when they welcome a dog into their family, it will all be fun and games and cuddles. But the fact remains that, sometimes, things get serious—and even the healthiest pets need medical attention from time to time.
Alex and his wife, Kennady, were over the moon when they adopted a lovable dog named Sully. However, when Sully developed a mystery ailment, they quickly learned just how tough pet ownership can be…
When a family makes the decision to adopt a dog, it should be a happy time. They’re welcoming a new member of the family, after all! However, what should’ve been a normal adoption for one couple turned into something astonishing their new dog developed an unsettling cough…
Just after Utah-based Kennady Longhurst and Alex Salsberry were married, they decided it was time to expand their family. So they adopted an adorable border collie mix whom they decided to named Sully.
The couple loved their new pup. “He is your typical dog—happy, playful, energetic, cuddly, needy, and really smart. He loves the dog park, going for hikes, chomping on bones, and people—he LOVES people,” wrote Kennady on Facebook.
Kennady and Alex loved the outdoors, and having Sully in their lives made their frequent hikes and camping trips a real delight. Sully was just as excited as they were to get outside and explore!
When they weren’t outside together, the little family loved nothing more than to snuggle together at home. Kennady and Alex loved their dog so much that, even when they had to leave the house, they tried to make it for no more than three hours at a time.
In November 2017, Kennady went home to check on Sully. Alex was working all day, but as a teacher, Kennady could use her lunch break to drive back to the house and visit with her little pooch.
She opened the door to find a very eager Sully. The two enjoyed their lunch together followed by some cuddles, and then Kennady got ready to head back to work. That’s when Sully started making a very unusual noise…
“He started doing this really scary cough/clearing of throat/choking noise. And it really freaked me out,” said Kennady as she recalled the sudden change in her beloved Sully.
She looked down Sully’s throat to make sure the dog wasn’t choking on anything and then she tried to perform CPR just to cover all of her bases. However, everything seemed totally fine, and there was no visible explanation for the dog’s condition.
“He was wagging his tail and running around and just wanted to play but also kept making this horrific noise,” said Kennady. She was baffled. Other than the unsettling sound, he seemed his usual happy-go-lucky self.
Kennady didn’t want to leave Sully alone, so she called Alex, who left work so he could keep an eye on the dog. However, once Alex arrived home, the dog’s strange cough seemed to have totally disappeared.
“We figured he must have just gotten something stuck in his throat and finally got it out,” said Kennady. She and Alex had no idea that the strange ailment their dog suffered that day was only just beginning…
The next morning, Sully started making the strange coughing sound again. The bewildered couple decided that Alex would work from home to keep an eye on the dog. They also scheduled an appointment with their veterinarian in the hopes of solving the mystery.
Once Sully was seen by his veterinarian, things only got more confusing. At first they suspected he might have developed kennel cough from spending time in the dog park, but all of his test results indicated that he was a very healthy dog.
Sully’s veterinarian was just as baffled by his condition as his owners were. While they couldn’t find anything wrong with him, Sully was sent home with an antibiotic just in case he was battling an infection.
Alex and Kennady weren’t content with this diagnosis, so they decided to consult another veterinarian. What they heard was pretty shocking and hard to believe: the veterinarian thought Sully was faking the terrible coughing sound to get more attention!
In disbelief, they consulted even more vets, but they all agreed that Sully was faking it. “Almost all of them said he could be acting sick in the mornings or when we leave him because he knows if he acts differently or sick we pay more attention to him and stay with him.”
The more Kennady and Alex thought about it, the more they began to agree. “I’m actually not surprised at all that he could pull this off,” said Kennady. “He has been an insanely smart dog since we got him when he was a puppy.”
After being forced to visit so many different veterinarians, Sully’s cough seemed to magically disappear once and for all. His owners think he was tired of having to be poked and prodded, and they couldn’t help but laugh at how their dog’s plan backfired!
“I think this has only made us appreciate Sully more,” said Kennady. “It reminded us of all those times when we were kids and faked sick so we could stay home, but in this case he wanted us to stay home.”
Animals are remarkable in so many ways and are far more intelligent and caring than we give them credit for. When things go wrong, their natural instincts kick in and they will sometimes do the unthinkable for the people they love.
1. Kabang saved her owner’s little girl and as well as her niece by pushing them out of the way of a speeding motorcycle. He suffered serious injuries, but his story touched people around the world and with the help of their donations, she was able to have life-saving surgery.
2. A 12-year-old Shih Tzu named Babu insisted that his owner, 85-year-old Tami Akanuma, take him for a walk. When she opened the door, Babu forced her in the opposite direction of where they would normally walk and up a nearby hill. Minutes later, Tami turned back to see the devastating 2011 Tsunami overtake her town, destroying everything including her home.
3. When his owner started choking when a piece of apple got lodged in her windpipe, Toby the golden retriever dislodged it from her throat by pouncing on her chest. She said when she began breathing again, Toby began to lick her face.
4. Llamas make some of the best therapy animals in the world. In this photo, Pisco gets a hug from a nurse at the hospice facility he visits monthly to calm terminally ill patients in the last stage of their lives.
5. When 4 armed robbers broke into his owners’ home and one of them pointed a firearm at the father, Lefty the pit bull leaped and took the bullet for him. He suffered devastating injuries and had to have a leg amputated, but he survived.
6. Robert Biggs was hiking in California when a mountain lion attacked him out of nowhere, biting his arm. Some nearby bears came to his aid and fought the mountain lion off, saving Biggs’ life.
7. When Killian the dog started acting very suspicious around the family’s new babysitter, the parents decided to leave an iPhone under their couch to record what happened when they were gone. They discovered the babysitter was abusing their 7-month-old boy. Thanks to Killian, the baby is now safe.
8. Yang Yun entered a competition to see who could hold their breath the longest. When she decided she was done and began to resurface, the arctic temperatures paralyzed her legs, leaving her unable to move. She had already lost all hope when a beluga whale grabbed her leg and lifted her to the surface, saving her life.
9. Jo Ann Altsman suffered a heart attack with only her potbellied pig Lulu in the house. Lulu ran towards a nearby road. Every time a car would drive by, Lulu would lie down in hopes they would stop. Each time a car didn’t stop, she would run back to check on her human, then back to the road. Finally, a motorcyclist stopped and followed Lulu into the home. He called 911 and Jo Ann’s life was saved.
10. Wendy Humphrey had a malignant tumor that was going to metastasized if it was left untreated. Her 10-month-old cat started to continuously jump on her breast for weeks until Wendy finally decided to see a doctor. The doctor discovered the tumor early enough, and Wendy lived.
11. Therapy dogs are truly special creatures. Pictured here are two Newtown therapy dogs that helped the children and parents after the tragic school killings in December 2012.
12. In 2005, a young girl in Ethiopia was abducted and beaten by 7 men attempting to force her into marriage. A week after they left her for dead, authorities found the girl. safely guarded by 3 lions. When the policemen approached, the lions walked away, knowing the little girl was now in safe hands.