He is an unlikely-looking guardian angel.
But for Irish epilepsy sufferer Brianna Lynch, Charlie the Great Dane has a heavenly touch when it comes to keeping her from harm.
Brianna’s family says he can detect the toddler’s seizures 20 minutes before she has a fit, gently guiding her to a wall so she does not fall over.
“It is not like he comes running inside saying: ‘Brianna is going to have a fit,come out quick!’ It is just, his behaviour towards her completely changes. He gets very worried,” said Brianna’s mother, Arabella Scanlan. “At one stage, I went out into the yard. The other kids had been playing and Charlie had been really, really excited around Brianna and she was just, I thought, holding onto him for support. She was actually having a fit, was stuck over him and he just looked at me as if to say ‘what do I do now?’ But he did not move. He waited until I came and took her. He was really concerned about her.”
His sixth sense may leave some scientists sceptical but, for Brianna and her relatives, their pet pooch has real powers. In recognition of his role, Charlie is now said to be in line for a national Great Dane award.
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