Early this month, Rudy Armstrong was on his houseboat when his foot fell asleep. He sat down, and when he woke up he couldn’t move his arm. His faithful dog Bubu ran over to check on him and she could immediately tell something was very wrong.
Unable to reach his phone, Armstrong locked eyes with Bubu and said, “I need help. Go get Kim.” Bubu, a Chihuahua mix, knew exactly what to do. She raced off the boat and ran toward the marina, where she found Kim, the dockmaster. “She came right up to her and rather than her usual greeting of barking and jumping and licking her, she stopped right in front of her and laid over on her side,” Brandy Popp, public relations manager for CarolinaEast Health System, told The Dodo.
Kim followed Bubu back to the boat, where she discovered that Armstrong had suffered a stroke and called 911. Paramedics brought Armstrong to the hospital, while Kim looked after Bubu. Thanks to Bubu’s speedy actions, her dad is recovering well. But after weeks at the hospital and rehab facility, Armstrong missed his little friend more than anything.
“I went to Rudy’s room to hear the details of Bubu helping to save his life and I had the pleasure of sitting with him for over an hour, hearing story upon story of his life, his time in the Navy, and his special bond with Bubu,” Popp said. “The fact that he has no close friends or family nearby led me to attempt to orchestrate a reunion between him and Bubu.” On the day of the reunion, Armstrong was wheeled into the facility’s garden, where he could hardly control his excitement. “Leading up to her arrival, Rudy was practically bouncing in his wheelchair like a kid on Christmas morning,” Popp said.
Once Kim arrived with Bubu, the dog seemed confused about being in such an unfamiliar environment. But it didn’t take long for her to recognize her dad. “Rudy pulled down his mask and Bubu instantly recognized him, jumped up in his lap and began licking his face incessantly!” Popp said. “It was a beautiful moment and everyone present was close to tears with the obvious joy of both Rudy and Bubu.”
Armstrong has since been released and is back on his boat with his beloved Bubu — able to live another day full of cuddles and kisses.