Persistent Dog Helps Save Elderly Neighbor From Fire

 |  Apr 22nd 2011  |   13 Contributions


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Chowder, the hero whose actions helped save his neighbor's life, striking a pose with owner Richard Carlino in front of their neighbor's burned home (Photo: Cape Code Times/Steve Heaslip)

Chowder, a 2-year-old Irish Jack Russell terrier, didn't pull a Lassie and race into his elderly neighbor's house to drag her from the fire that was raging there. But he may as well have. She's probably alive today because of the Chowder's actions.

Around 4:30 a.m. Chowder barked up a storm in his house, not letting his family go back to sleep once he awoke them.

"He kept jumping on me, digging in with his claws and wouldn't stop," Chowder's owner, Richard Carlino, told the Cape Cod Times. "Once he made sure my wife and I were up, he ran to each room of the house and made sure our children were awake, too. He wouldn't rest until he knew everyone was awake, and we'd gone out the door to help our neighbor."

Richard and his wife, Dianna, ran outside to their neighbor's house and found her clinging to an outside door, trying to get back in as the flames engulfed her hone. Dianna grabbed her and pulled her away. Seconds later, a picture window exploded as Richard picked her up and made a dash across the yard. If she had been there when it the window exploded, it probably would have been curtains for her.

The fire destroyed her home. But at least she is alive.

I hope Chowder got an extra nice dinner that night, and that his neighbor will be well cared for as she tries to pick up the pieces of her life. (He sure is a noble-looking specimen, don't you think?)

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