In 2010, a small dog named Kiko saved his dad’s life, but at the moment, it didn’t seem like it. Jerry Douthett screamed for his wife Rosee to come help him one night. When she entered the room, she saw that Jerry’s toe was gone and Kiko’s mouth had blood in it. It might sound like a horror story, but if Kiko hadn’t done it, Jerry would’ve died.
Kiko’s quick thinking gave Jerry over ten more years of life. But this year, Rosee suffered an unimaginable loss after saying goodbye to both Jerry and Kiko within months of each other. Rosee still remembers Kiko’s life-saving actions like they were yesterday.
A Missing Toe Saves a Life
Over ten years ago, Jerry and Rosee were at a bar to celebrate Rosee becoming an American citizen. Jerry came home very drunk after having several beers, so when Kiko bit off his toe, he barely felt any pain. As it turns out, his big toe had an infected sore for a while, but he kept refusing to go to the doctor. Kiko must’ve smelled something unusual on his foot and did what he could.
With his toe missing, Jerry had no choice but to finally go to the doctor to have it fully treated. When they were there, the doctor informed him that he had diabetes. It’s something he never would’ve learned if Kiko hadn’t taken action.
“His sugar was in the 800s so it was like if it wasn’t treated, it could be fatal for him, going into septic shock,” said Rosee. “[Doctors] heralded Kiko as a hero because if he didn’t do that, he would never have gone to the hospital or discovered he was diabetic.”
Thanks to Kiko, Jerry stayed healthy for a while and became less hesitant about seeing the doctor. Then, in 2020, things went downhill when he struggled with a toothache. He was diagnosed with cancer of the mouth and throat.
Time to Say Goodbye
Jerry went through four rounds of chemotherapy and had 35 radiation treatments. During that time, he slowly lost his ability to talk, eat, and walk. Kiko and their cat named Lucky were there to support him through it all. Jerry passed away in June 2021 at age 58.
Unfortunately, the loss didn’t end there. Lucky the cat died in September, and then Kiko died from kidney disease in October. Both pets were 12 years old, but it still came as a shock to Rosee. It has been a lot of loss for her to deal with at once, but she believes they’re all in a better place now.
“Family members say, ‘I think maybe Jerry took the pets because maybe he needs them more there in heaven than you,’” said Rosee. “I love them so much and when it’s my time, I will meet them there again and we will be a family again.”
Rosee’s friends and family helped her host a benefit concert for Jerry, and she hopes to make it an annual tradition to help others. Since Rosee stopped working after her husband’s death, many kind individuals helped her raise money for the vet bills too. She will always miss her family members greatly, but it’s good to know she’s surrounded by so many kind people who care about her.