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Owner Credits Rescue Pit Bull 'Sweet Dee' For Saving His Life

WEST ROXBURY (CBS) -- Elliott Nerland's dog Sweet Dee is special, in fact he says his dog is more than a pet.

"For the most part a fantastic, fantastic friend and family member to have," Nerland says.

Nerland and his wife adopted the pit bull terrier mix from the MSPCA six years ago. But last month, this rescue dog, did the rescuing.

Sweet Dee along with Elliott and his wife Erin (credit Elliott Nerman)
Sweet Dee along with her owners. (Photo Credit: MSPCA)

"I was lying right here on the couch when she found me unresponsive," Nerland says.

Nerland woke up at 5 a.m. with chest pains and was on the couch. But suddenly, he was unconscious. The 32-year-old school psychologist had gone into cardiac arrest, but Sweet Dee was there.

"She jumped on the bed and nudged at my wife who was sleeping and started to bark to wake her up," Nerland says.

"That's not normal?" WBZ-TV's Kate Merrill asked.

"No, that's not normal," Nerland responded.

Sweet Dee
Sweet Dee (WBZ-TV)

His wife found him on the couch with no pulse and not breathing, so his wife started CPR and called 911.

Nerland was saved he says, in part, by a pit bull.

"If she wouldn't have woken up my wife when she did there is a greater degree I wouldn't have been revived," Nerland says.

Nerland is feeling great now; he suffers from a newly discovered heart condition. When he got home from the hospital, Sweet Dee got a big, juicy steak.

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