Dogs reveal themselves as heroes in so many ways in our society, from the everyday aid of seeing-eye dogs, to the compassion of comfort dogs, to the bravery of K-9s who assist police and military.
And then there are those wonderful stories of a simple family pup, stepping up in a moment of crisis and danger to save the day.
Just like little Cheeky Baby.
The seven-month pup was the only one awake in his Omaha, Nebraska, home during the early-morning hours of last Saturday, when she recognized the sights and smells of danger. A fire had broken out in the home while the humans –- including 12-year-old Jose Rodriguez and his brother –- were sleeping.
Cheeky Baby understood the gravity of the situation immediately, and she began desperately trying to wake Jose up by jumping on him.
“She was licking our faces and stuff and like biting our ears,” Jose said.
Jose awoke to a smoke-filled bedroom with fire rapidly approaching.
“The fire was like right under me,” he said.
Now awake, the two boys managed to get the rest of their family out of the house and away from the danger, with Cheeky Baby leading the way.
“He was the one waking everyone, and I was trying to get water, and this dog was just running up and down, up and down.”
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About the author: Jeff Goldberg is a freelance writer in Quincy, Mass. A former editor for MLB.com and sportswriter for the Hartford Courant who covered the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team (Huskies!) and the Boston Red Sox, Jeff has authored two books on the UConn women: Bird at the Buzzer (2011) and Unrivaled (2015). He lives with his wife, Susan, and their rescue pup, Rocky, an Italian Greyhuahua/Jack Russell mix from a foster home in Tennessee, hence the name Rocky (as in Rocky Top).