23 PAWS (#7): Hero Dogs

Thank you to Cinnamon for hosting the monthly link-up and giving pet-people an opportunity to gush about their 4-pawed friends.

This week I came across a wonderful article that highlights 10 stories from 2012 showcasing Hero Dogs–dogs who went above and beyond.  Have the tissue handy–these are some amazing stories!

These two characters proved to be heroes in their own way in 2012.


Here’s the story…Summer 2012 was very hot and steamy in Madison and doors and windows were shut for most of June and July.  One night in late July, I had the screen doors and windows open to finally get a little fresh air as the temps started to cool down.

In the middle of the night, Kostas jumped up on the bed and was standing over me panting heavily and shaking.  And Tucker was pacing in the bedroom.  All of this activity woke me up.

I could hear a smoke detector beeping somewhere in the distance.  That noise drives Kostas b-a-n-a-n-a-s.  I was petting him, trying to calm him down.  I was still in bed, thinking that someone’s battery was low or there was a fire somewhere in the neighborhood.

I finally got up out of bed to look outside.  I noticed that it smelled a lot like a weekend BBQ–on a Friday morning at 1:30am.  And the smoke detector kept beeping.  But I didn’t hear/see any activity beyond the beep.

The dogs are really agitated at this point but I decided to get back into bed.  Not 30 seconds later the entire life safety system in the condo building went off.  Lights, buzzers, alarms.  I shot out of bed, ran to the front door, leashed the dogs, grabbed my wallet, phone, keys, and we were the first ones out of the condo building.  I called 911 to report a fire.

Neighbors started trickling out in all stages of dress (side note: it’s an interesting dynamic to see your neighbors in the middle of the night–in the street–in their PJs).

Turns out, there was a fire–smoke pouring out of the unit.  Someone “fell asleep” while cooking.

I have a history of having to escape fires–I’ll save that for another post but long story short–I don’t wait around to find out if there’s a problem.  I get o-u-t.

I know that with the fire alarm system in the building I would have safely gotten out regardless of the dogs waking me, but I am so thankful that they were protecting me, were ahead of the game, and it was a good lesson to me to trust them.

I know something is wrong if Kostas isn’t sleeping at night (or during most of the day).

Yes, Kostas is sound asleep under the covers.  On my new fleece sheets.

Yes, Kostas is sound asleep under the covers. On my new fleece sheets.

Any heroic pet stories to share?  Or cute pet stories, in general?

11 responses

  1. Just yesterday I was talking to my husband saying Dante sure does sleep a lot … So much for my running partner. Most as is beautiful and brave. I have two beautiful hero stories of my first lab Matteo.

    1. Once despite my complains and annoyance he did not let me go into the elevator with my 3 month old to pick up her sister. As I proceeded to speak sternly to him the earth began to shake. It was a really rough earthquake in Reggio Emilia, Italy. We would have been stuck in the elevator of it wasn’t for him.

    2. Another time guarding Matteo from a Dalmatian that was known for biting other dogs I put him at the end of the elevator and put my daughter and I strategically before him. The Dalmatian had never displayed any behavior against children or adults. I thought if Matteo was far away enough I would avoid a confrontation. And I did, except for the fact that the Dalmatian went straight for my daughter’s face, within a millisecond and I a, not exaggerated Matteo contorted his body in a way I never thought a dog’s body could bend. He jumped in front of my daughter protecting her from the Dalmatian’s bite.

    I am sorry about the lengthy comment, I left out the tears and the anguish I felt after and while both situations were happening. I am forever grateful to my beautiful Matteo in heaven.

    A big hug to your beautiful Kostas!

  2. Wow, what an incredible story. Dogs are so smart and can definitely tell if/when something is off. Luckily, Zelda hasn’t had to make any heroic acts, but she can tell when a member of the family is sick or isn’t feeling well. Happy Sunday!

  3. What a wonderful story. Sometimes when my dogs get agitated for seemingly no reason, I pause a second waiting for something bigger to happen. So far, they haven’t warned me about anything important.

    I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Merry Christmas!!

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