Animals are extremely sensitive creatures. They can pick up on everything from a human's feelings to their health issues, and horses are particularly sensitive to these changes. So, when Jolene and Ricky discovered that they were expecting their first baby, they assumed that their horse was acting strangely because of her pregnant belly. However, what they didn't realize was that their horse was picking up on something much more sinister. So much so, in fact, that Jolene's doctor had no option but to call the police after he did an ultrasound.
Their Horse Sensed Jolene Was Expecting
When Jolene and her husband Ricky discovered that they were pregnant, they were over the moon. They had been trying for many years to have a baby, but sadly, they had no luck. But just as they were beginning to think it wouldn't happen for them, they were blessed with the best news possible. Their positive pregnancy test thrust them into a baby bubble, and they rushed to share the news with their nearest and dearest.
But while everyone around them seemed happy for them, they started to notice that their horse Keola was starting to act strangely. They knew that she could sense the change in the atmosphere, but was it the baby she could sense?
Keola Started Acting Very Strangely
Keola had been with Jolene and Ricky since she was just a young foal, and Jolene and Ricky were incredibly in-tune with their horse's behavior. And when Jolene turned up with a pregnant belly, they could sense that Keola was uneasy. She started to lick and hug Jolene's stomach, and she seemed to be incredibly disturbed. Her owners found her new behavior to be odd, but they just hoped that it was a passing phase.
In their eyes, Keola was just sensing the growing baby in her owner's stomach and was reacting in a way that made sense to her. But the more they ignored Keola, the more of a fuss the horse made.
Jolene Was in so Much Pain, She Went to the Hospital
As Jolene and Ricky continued to ignore their horse, they focused on their upcoming arrival. Jolene's pregnant belly was growing nicely, and they left each doctor's appointment with positive news about their little one. However, when Jolene was 25 weeks pregnant, she began to suffer unimaginable pain in her lower back. In fact, the pain was so bad it rendered Jolene unable to walk or even move from the couch.
As any worried husband would do, Ricky rushed his wife to the hospital for an ultrasound to check on mom and baby. Unfortunately, what the doctor saw on the screen wasn't what he expected, and he called 911 immediately.
They Were High School Sweethearts - But Not Everything Was Sweet
Of course, to truly understand how Jolene and Ricky ended up in that terrifying and unusual situation, we need to learn a little more about the couple themselves. As the ultimate high school sweethearts, Jolene and Ricky met when they were just 16 years old. After their graduation and a whirlwind romance, they decided to move in and create a life together. And as major horse lovers, their first order of business was to buy Keola.
From the outside, Jolene and Ricky were the perfect couple. They were obviously in love and had created a happy and healthy life together. But behind closed doors, things were a little more strained.
Ricky's Mysterious and Secretive Past
Although Jolene felt like she was giving Ricky her whole heart, she always felt as though her partner was keeping something from her. They had been together since they were 16, but Jolene knew very little about Ricky. No matter how many times she asked about his family and his past, he continued to shut her down and claim that he no longer had any family to introduce her to.
Jolene was so in love with Ricky that she decided to put her doubts to the back of her mind and just assumed that what he was saying to her was true.
No One at Their Wedding Had Known Ricky Before He Met Jolene
After ten happy years together, Jolene and Ricky decided to take their relationship to the next level. They had all of the foundations for a successful marriage, and now all they needed to do was make it official. So, they worked hard to save up some money and plan their perfect wedding, and eagerly awaited their big day surrounded by their friends and family. But would any of Ricky's family show up?
Much to Jolene's surprise, Ricky didn't invite any of his friends or family to the wedding. The only friends he invited were the ones they had made together after they first started dating at 16 years old.
They Spent Years Trying to Get Pregnant Before Finally Succeeding
Although this struck Jolene as odd, she decided not to question her new husband. After all, they had already spent ten years together, and she trusted him. So when the wedding was over, they decided to focus on the next step in their marriage; expanding their family. Both Jolene and Ricky desperately wanted children, and they hoped to get pregnant right away. Sadly, this didn't work out the way they planned.
It took years of negative pregnancy tests before Jolene and Ricky finally discovered that they were pregnant. Their hope had dwindled, and so the positive pregnancy was a welcome sight after so long.
The Horse's Behavior Was Ringing Alarm Bells
Jolene and Ricky's friends and family all knew how much they wanted a baby, so they were over the moon to learn the news. And while they knew Keola wouldn't understand exactly what was going on, they were still excited to show off Jolene's growing belly to their horse. But during a visit to her stables, they didn't get the reaction they were hoping for. Instead of being excited to see them and the bump, Keola seemed disturbed.
To begin with, Jolene and Ricky didn't associate her strange behavior with the baby bump. They wondered whether she was ill and was desperately trying to tell them that she needed help.
Was the Horse Trying to Tell Her Something About the Baby?
As soon as they realized that Keola was not herself, Jolene and Ricky decided to call the vet. They wanted to get her checked over to make sure she wasn't suffering an underlying condition they hadn't spotted until now. However, in a bizarre turn of events, the vet discovered that Keola was perfectly healthy. He did countless tests on the horse, but every single result suggested there was absolutely nothing wrong with her.
So, what was going on? After Googling Keola's symptoms, Jolene wondered whether the horse was picking up on something wrong with the baby. Instantly, this sent her into a panic.
She Confided in Her Mom
During her research, Jolene discovered that horses are extremely sensitive to human illness and changes in the human body. And while she hoped that Keola's behavior wasn't linked to a problem with her baby, she couldn't help but shake the feeling that something was gravely wrong. However, she knew that Ricky would flip out if she went to him with her concerns, so she first decided to seek advice and guidance from her mother.
Jolene's mom immediately soothed her concern, urging her daughter to take what she reads online with a pinch of salt. She told Jolene to instead listen to her own intuition and her own body. But what was it telling her?
They Went to See the Doctor
Although Jolene wanted to believe that she was reading into what she saw on the internet more than she should, she also couldn't shake a nagging feeling at the back of her mind. Her last check-up at the hospital confirmed that her baby was happy and healthy and growing at the rate that it should, but she still wanted to book another check-up just to be sure. After all, Keola had never acted like this before.
Thankfully, the doctor's appointment was a success. He told Jolene that their baby was still perfectly healthy and that she had nothing to worry about. And while she was instantly relieved, this feeling didn't last long.
Jolene Ended up in the Hospital Without Her Husband
When Jolene and Ricky returned home, they hoped that Keola's behavior would have settled down. After all, they knew that she was healthy, and they knew that their baby was healthy. But, strangely, she was still acting in the exact same way. She seemed disturbed by Jolene's growing belly and continued to try and hug and lick the bump. And then things went from bad to worse when Jolene started to suffer from immense back pain at 23 weeks pregnant.
Although Jolene wasn't due for another scan until she was 25 weeks pregnant, she couldn't ignore the debilitating pain. So, Ricky called an ambulance for his wife, and she was picked up and taken to the emergency room without him.
"I'm Going to Have to Call the Police"
Ricky arrived later than his wife, as he got stuck in traffic. But while he was stuck in gridlock, Jolene was sent into a private room without him, where a doctor performed an ultrasound scan to check on the baby's health. And while Jolene was hoping for good news, she could tell by the doctor's face that something wasn't right. In fact, what he saw on the screen seemed to terrify him.
As soon as the doctor realized what he was seeing, he turned to her and said something that chilled her to the bone: "I'm going to have to call the police."
The Police Took Ricky Into a Private Room and Asked Him Endless Questions
It didn't take long for the police to arrive, and by that point, Ricky had also arrived at the emergency room to comfort his wife. However, he didn't stick around long. As soon as the police entered the hospital room, they turned to Ricky and said they needed to take him into a private room to ask him a few questions. Jolene was dumbfounded, and she still didn't know what the doctor had seen on the ultrasound screen.
Meanwhile, the police were asking Ricky questions about his wife and their life together. And while these seemed like fairly normal questions, they soon became more invasive. In fact, the police wanted to know specifics about Jolene's pregnancy.
Jolene Stayed at the Hospital While Ricky Was Forced to Go to the Police Station
Ricky just wanted to be by his wife's side, and he grew agitated - but this didn't work in his favor. When the police saw his response, they decided to take him down to the police station for further questioning. They told him that they had a lot to explain and that they would go into more detail if they left the hospital and went to the station.
When Jolene learned that her husband was being taken to the station, she didn't know what to believe. She was clueless about everything and just needed answers. She needed to know what was going on.
Surgery Was the Only Option if Jolene Wanted the Baby Safe
When a doctor finally made his way to Jolene's room with information, it wasn't the information she was hoping for. The doctor told the expecting mother that he was not allowed to tell her anything under police orders. But from a medical standpoint, they had no option but to take her down for surgery. It was of paramount importance that she go under the knife for the safety of herself and her baby.
Jolene still didn't understand what was going on or what was threatening the life of herself and her baby, but she trusted what the doctor was saying. So, she decided to go ahead with the surgery.
Ricky Was Shocked by the Police-Lineup
Meanwhile, Ricky had arrived at the police station. He was enraged that the police had taken him away from his wife during such a turbulent time in their lives, and he became even more confused when they took him into an interrogation room. However, he soon realized that they didn't want to interrogate him. Instead, he was there to check out the line-up of men standing behind a two-way mirror.
The police asked Ricky if he had met any of the men in front of him before, and he was astounded to realize that he did indeed know one of them. After all, one of the men was their family doctor.
The Illegal Microchip
Ricky couldn't understand why his family doctor, and the man who had been checking up on his wife's growing belly, was standing in a police line-up. It was then that the police explained everything. While caring for Jolene and the baby, the doctor illegally implanted a microchip inside her. He wanted to regulate the pregnant mother's medication using this microchip but failed to acknowledge that his actions were not legal.
To make matters even worse, the medication the doctor tried to regulate had been registered under Jolene's husband's name. So, that's why the cops wanted to talk to him. And while Ricky was relieved to learn that he was in the clear, what was going on with his wife?
The Couple Reunites at the Hospital
After confirming the doctor in the line-up, Ricky was allowed to leave the station and return to the hospital to be with his wife. But by this point, he was pumped full of adrenaline, scared for the safety of his wife and his unborn baby, and confused as to why a doctor would insert a microchip into Jolene. So, when he couldn't find her in her room, he couldn't contain his panic.
The doctor at the hospital, who had been treating his wife, immediately swarmed around him and told him to calm down. He explained that he knew what had happened with the microchip and understood his concerns. And within seconds, he took him to where Jolene was sitting.
Keola's Impressive Instinct
As Ricky rushed to meet his wife, he began to think of Keola. From the beginning, she knew that something was wrong, and she could sense that something wasn't quite right with Jolene and her growing belly. Of course, she didn't know that the microchip was illegal, but she could sense it in there. Doctors and vets even suggested that Keola could sense the inflammation that was causing the back pain in Jolene's body.
If Jolene hadn't got checked out when she did, the inflammation would have become much worse - and could have been life-threatening for both Jolene and her unborn baby. So, Ricky was incredibly thankful for their horse.
All the Backpain Was Caused by the Illegal Microchip
Thankfully, doctors caught the microchip before it could do any long-lasting damage to Jolene. They were able to remove the whole thing during a quick and relatively painless surgery, and they were also on course to treat the inflammation caused by the foreign object in her body. In fact, the doctor made it clear that the pain in Jolene's body was caused by inflammation rather than complications surrounding the pregnancy.
And with the successful surgery over, Jolene and Ricky were finally able to reunite and celebrate the fact that everything was going to be ok. They still had a while to go before their baby was born, but they had been through the worst of it.
She Got to Go Back Home
Both Jolene and Ricky felt an intense sense of relief as they left the hospital. They still couldn't quite believe what had happened or why their doctor had performed an illegal procedure on Jolene, but they were just happy to learn that their baby hadn't been impacted by the ordeal. So, they decided to go back to their house and spend the next 17 weeks preparing for the arrival of their little one.
During this time, they also made sure to give Keola lots of attention. If it hadn't been for her, Jolene wouldn't have questioned her pregnancy, and the inflammation could have gotten even worse.
The Big Day Finally Arrived
All in all, the stress and the pain were worth it when Jolene and Ricky's little one arrived. At 40 weeks, Jolene went back to the hospital to give birth to a healthy daughter, and after much deliberation, they settled on the beautiful name Giulia. And while they were filled with relief to see a happy and healthy baby looking up at them, they were filled with love more than anything.
Giulia was everything they had ever wanted and more, and the story of how they nearly lost her is one that they will definitely share with her when she's old enough.
They Learned Their Lesson: Listen to Keola's Instincts
After all, Giulia will grow up with Keola by her side, too. Because of this, Jolene and Ricky want their daughter to truly understand the magic of their horse and understand how their intuitive animal managed to save the life of both Jolene and Giulia. If it hadn't been for Keola and her bizarre behavior, Jolene would have never listened to her gut and realized that something was wrong during her pregnancy.
Jolene and Ricky will forever be indebted to Keola and her actions. But she's not the only animal that has sensed when something is wrong. The next story of one owner and her husky is just as unbelievable.
Meet Sierra, the Life-Saving Husky
Just as Keola sensed something different about Jolene, so did Sierra, the husky, about her owner. To be more specific, though, Sierra sniffed something different about her owner. After all, dogs are celebrated for their impressive sense of smell as they have 50 scent receptors for every one receptor a human has. And this proved to be a life-saving attribute when a woman from Wisconsin became ill without even realizing it.
Yes, dogs are considered to be man's best friend. But in this case, Sierra the husky became Stephanie Herfel's lifeline when the dog picked up something before it was picked up by a medical scan.
Red Flags Started Popping up
Most people don't remember what they were doing a whole decade ago, but Stephanie Herfel remembers 2013 as though it was yesterday. She had just moved from California to Wisconsin and was gearing up to start a new life for herself in the Badger State. But in the hustle and bustle of the movie, Stephanie didn't realize that she had gained a lot of weight in a short amount of time.
Nothing in Stephanie's life had changed. She was still eating the same food and exercising the same amount, but somehow she had put on 60 pounds. Then, she started to suffer from abdominal pain like no other.
A Dubious Diagnosis
The pain Stephanie was feeling in her stomach took over her whole body, and she couldn't even stand up straight. In the end, she knew she had no option but to go to the emergency room and get herself checked out. After a few tests and scans, the doctor told her that the pain was coming from an ovarian cyst - and they also told her that she had nothing to worry about.
According to the doctor, the cyst was benign. They prescribed her medication to deal with the pain, and she left the hospital to continue with her life. However, Sierra the husky began to act strangely a few months later.
Did She Miss Her?
Sierra started acting weirdly when Stephanie returned home from a vacation - so she didn't think too much about it. She put this strange behavior down to the notion that the husky had missed her. After all, she was clingier than usual, and she was putting her nose on Stephanie's stomach and pushing gently. But Sierra kept doing this, so Stephanie asked the dog to stop her strange behavior.
Although Sierra normally stopped a bad behavior when Stephanie called her out on it, the husky just wouldn't stop pushing her owner's stomach. There was something about it that was upsetting her, and she wanted Stephanie to know.
Something Was Wrong
Sierra's actions just got stranger and stranger by the day, and Stephanie really began to worry about her beloved pooch. And things took a turn for the worse when Sierra pushed her stomach one last time before going off on her own and hiding in the house. This was unusual for Sierra, who preferred to be with Stephanie at all times. And after an hour of hiding, Stephanie went to find her dog.
When Stephanie found Sierra's hiding place, she was amazed to see that Sierra looked as though she was crying. "All the fur around her eyes was just soaking wet, and she had the biggest eyebrow cringe I've ever seen," she said.
A Second Opinion
Stephanie had never seen Sierra act such a way, and she knew that her dog was trying to communicate something to her - and it had something to do with her stomach area. So, Stephanie took this as a sign that she should get a second opinion for her "benign" ovarian cyst. She made her way to a gynecologist and nervously awaited the results, which took a whole month to get back to her.
Unfortunately, the results weren't positive. They confirmed that the cyst was not benign but was instead a symptom of stage three ovarian cancer. The gynecologist called it a "silent killer," as many people with ovarian cancer have almost no symptoms.
A True Lifesaver
Although Stephanie was devastated to learn of her diagnosis, she was incredibly thankful to have Sierra in her life. If her beloved husky hadn't nudged her so intently and acted so strangely to get her attention, she would have just assumed that the first medical opinion was correct. Thanks to Sierra, she was able to seek treatment before her cancer progressed even further - and she even told her oncologist about her intuitive pooch.
After doing his own research, the oncologist realized that Stephanie was right about Sierra. He learned that some dogs do have the ability to pick up on the smell of cancer, and in most cases, they're 97% accurate when they do.
An Impressive Animal
Yes, dogs are truly impressive animals. Not only are they the perfect companions, but many are also working dogs thanks to their unique qualities - including their sense of smell. And with a sense of smell that's 10,000 times more accurate than that of the human sense of smell, it's no wonder that so many dogs have been able to smell diseases and cancer in their owners over the years.
Thanks to Sierra, Stephanie was able to catch her cancer early and start treatment. However, that didn't mean that the whole process was easy, as the cancer was still attacking her body.
Although Stephanie had ovarian cancer, she was lucky that the cancer had not spread to another part of her body. This meant that it was relatively easy to treat, but she still needed to undergo mammoth surgery to remove the tumor. All in all, the surgery took 10 hours to complete. But when it was over, the doctors were confident that they had removed all of the cancer and that she could get on with her life cancer-free.
However, 18 months later, Sierra started acting strangely again. Once again, she was nudging Stephanie's stomach and hiding in different areas of the house - and Stephanie knew better than to ignore her dog.
The Cancer Was Back
Stephanie decided to go back to the hospital as soon as she could and booked a CT scan that would hopefully put her mind at ease. Unfortunately, Sierra proved once again that she was right - and the doctors soon confirmed that Stephanie's cancer was indeed back. Not only that, but it had since spread to her liver and had become even more deadly. It was a tough pill for Stephanie to swallow.
As you can imagine, Stephanie was upset to learn that she'd have to put her body through even more treatment. But on the back of it all, she couldn't believe that Sierra had saved her life once again.
The Third Blow
Stephanie went through a relatively simple treatment plan to treat her liver cancer, and once again, she was discharged and allowed to continue with her life. But after 33 months of bliss, Sierra started to nudge her owner's stomach and hide in the house once again. By this point, Stephanie knew what that meant; her cancer was back. A trip to the hospital confirmed this to be true, and her ovarian cancer was back.
Although Stephanie was upset by her third diagnosis, she tried to look on the bright side of things and called Sierra her own personal pet scan. After all, she had been right three times.
Hiding in the House
To treat her second bout of cancer, Stephanie's oncologist decided to put her through a more aggressive form of treatment. She not only underwent radiation therapy, but she then went through chemotherapy afterward. And while Stephanie tried to make the most of her life during this time, she was bemused to see that Sierra was still acting differently around her. In fact, she refused to sit by her or spend time with her at all.
Sierra's strange behavior continued through her radiation treatment plan, as though she could still smell cancer and the fact that her beloved owner was ill. Thankfully, this didn't last too long.
Back to Normal
As soon as Stephanie's radiation treatment was over, Sierra went back to normal. And while Stephanie underwent chemotherapy, Sierra was by her side the whole time. She finally wanted cuddles again, and she finally wanted to snuggle up on the sofa with her owner. This put a huge smile on Stephanie's face, as she had missed her cuddly dog. And she also took this as a sign that she was getting better.
Sierra had been right about so many things in Stephanie's life so far, and so she trusted her husky's instincts. If Sierra was happy and acting normally again, that meant that she was getting better, right?
A Constant Battle
Unfortunately, cancer can be hard to beat - and Stephanie has been one of the unlucky ones. Although her treatment plans have worked over the years, her cancer has continued to return - and she's spent the last six years undergoing treatment for this recurrent disease. However, she believes that she wouldn't still be here today if it weren't for her beloved pooch. In her eyes, Sierra extended her life.
"I just feel honored to be her spokesperson because I really believe she's the star. She's given me an opportunity at longevity," said Stephanie. And it's hard to deny that her impressive sense of smell changed everything for Stephanie.
Living a Happy Life
Today, Stephanie is trying to focus on living a happy and healthy life - but she's still keeping tabs on her health and how her husky interacts with her. And she's also aware that she's one of the lucky ones. Every year, around 14,000 women in the U.S. succumb to the disease, and she knows that she could have been one of them if she hadn't listened to Siera's desperate attempts to alert her that something was wrong.
Their story just goes to show that dogs aren't just man's best friend. They can also be man's life savers, and it's important to remember that their intuition and their sensitivities can't be ignored.