Not only are dogs amazing companions, many of them seem to be true rescuers at heart. There are countless amazing stories where dogs save their owners in truly incredible ways— and this story? This is one of them.
Two years ago, an Irish cockapoo named Teddy was hailed as a hero after she saved the family’s five-year-old son from dying in their tumble dryer.
The incident happened in late 2017, when Riley Gedge-Duffy, a 5-year-old with Down syndrome, was playing a game of hide-and-go-seek.
In search of the perfect hiding spot, little Riley came across the family’s tumble dryer, opened the door and crawled right in. That’s when things went horribly wrong.
When Riley closed the door of the dryer, the machine locked and turned on. The dryer’s gears turned the giant cylinder. The young boy was thrown around like a rag doll while the hot air burned his skin. Luckily, Teddy, the family’s cockapoo, had noticed what had happened.
Teddy immediately started going “berserk”, Riley’s mom said. The dog raced upstairs, barking incessantly, trying to alert her that something was very, very wrong.
Gillian, the boy’s mother, told ODN News:
“I was hoovering at the time and the dog came up and was going berserk and jumping around the place— actually running in and out of the room, wanting me to follow her.”
“Then I just thought, it is Riley, so I started running down the stairs shouting to my other son Freddie, ‘Where is Riley? Where is Riley?!’ And he just shouted, ‘I don’t know!'”
Gillian and Freddy made their way towards the laundry room. That’s when Freddy noticed their iPad cycling in the dryer.
Riley’s dad Aaron Duffy told The Guardian UK: “They could hear banging and crashing and could see his iPad going round and round. We suspect he was inside for a couple of minutes.”
Gillian immediately pulled Riley from the dryer and started pouring cold water over his body. Aaron arrived home seconds later and called an ambulance for help.
Aaron says that Riley is very lucky to be alive, and the family credits their dog with his survival. “Children that have possibly ever got into washing machines [or] tumble dryers before die from a lack of oxygen,” he told ODN News. “But the fact that he was in while it was on with heat made it even worse. So, very lucky to be alive.”
“It doesn’t bear thinking about what might have happened if the dog had not been there,” he added.
“If the dog wasn’t in the house at the time, we would be looking at a death here.”
In an interview, Carolyn Forte, director of the Home Appliances & Cleaning Products Lab at Good Housekeeping told Inside Edition: “Front-loading washers are particularly attractive to kids. The doors open wide. … They look like a great place to hide.” However, “The doors lock once the machine starts. That’s what they’re designed to do, [and] once the child gets trapped inside, then it becomes a really dangerous situation.”
Luckily, Riley didn’t suffer any serious injuries aside from burns and bruises.
But his parents are now speaking out regarding the dangers of washing machine and dryer appliances.
Aaron said: “You read about these things happening, but this happened in our house, and I just want other parents to be aware. We have a bigger than usual tumble dryer because there are six of us in the house and we have lots of laundry. It’s not an old model or anything but by just turning the dial and closing the door, that triggers it to start.”
“It angers me, really, when I think about what could have happened.”
“Kids have suffocated and the heat drawing the air could have killed Riley quicker.”
“Only for our dog reacting the way she did, my wife could not have known something was up.”
Hear the family’s story below.
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