But now he is sure she is – after she saved his life by jumping on him and licking his face until he woke up before he slipped into a diabetic coma.
Diabetic John, from Wincobank, was asleep in bed in the early hours of Saturday – and completely unaware that his blood sugar levels had dropped to a dangerous level.
And that is when Wander stepped in.
John slowly came to, to find his beloved seven year old pet Lhasa Apso jumping up and down on top of him and licking his face.
The retired mental health support worker was covered in sweat, and realised he had a problem with his sugar level.
He reached for a bottle of drink and biscuits that he keeps for emergencies, to get his sugar levels back up.
Wander, my Lhasa Apso saved my life
John, aged 67, said: “I think she has saved my life.
“I had gone into a deep sleep and didn’t realise anything was wrong. When I came too, I was so weak. I realised that something was up, and something had caused my blood sugars to drop.
“It took about 15 minutes for me to come round from what had happened – the sugar levels must have been really low.
“I really do think she has saved my life and stopped me going into a diabetic coma. She must have sensed something – she is the best dog in the world.”
He has treated Wander to a sirloin steak as a reward.
John’s daughter, Lyndon Bethell, said: “Dad could have died. I know he loves Wander, but we never thought she'd do something like this.
“I think Wander picked up on something that no one else could sense. You hear about dogs being trained to do this sort of thing – but Wander isn’t trained. We can hardly even train her to sit, but she can save dad’s life like that. She loves him and must have sensed danger and done everything she could.”
Specialist organisations, such as the UK charity Medical Detection Dogs, train dogs to recognise signs of low blood sugar and take action to prevent a medical emergency.