Dog’s Instincts Help Retrieve Family from Fire

In Garland, TX a dog woke her master after seeing smoke.

It was about 5 a.m. on Memorial Day when Shenandoah Silverheels-Zelis woke up to loud barking from his dog, Shaa, said writer Tomi Maxted.

“When he looked outside he saw a pillar of smoke rising from a townhouse across the street in his Garland neighborhood and ran to help,” writes Maxed. “The fire grew so fast that it blew out the window of a four-year-old girl’s room.”

Silverheels-Zelis, who is partially deaf, frantically knocked on the townhouse’s door to wake up residents Deborah Allen and Joe Jones, he said.

“The smoke had us asleep,” Allen reported.

A Garland Fire Department incident report says the fire started after a neighbor scooped coals from a charcoal grill into an aluminum container and set it on a wooden deck, wrote Maxed.

The fire caused significant damage to the home of Allen and Jones, the report shows.

Shaa, a Labrador-Catahoula mix, is the reason that Silverheels-Zelis saw the fire, Maxed stated.

Shaa is undergoing personal training as an indoor dog for her hearing-impaired owner, according to research.

Silverheels-Zelis with partner Sheila Robbins was able to warn neighbors of the fire in their townhouse thanks to the eight-month-old dog’s keen senses, according to reports.

Shaa is being taught fire training and that helped her detect the neighborhood blaze, her owners told Maxed.

“I’m quite sure that since we’ve been practicing that, it’s that instinct that clicked,” said Robbins.

Service dogs help save lives like when a disabled woman’s Rottweiler got help when she fell out of her wheelchair. The four-year-old dog, Faith, in Washington assisted her owner by calling 911 when she pushed the speed dial button.

Faith’s quick thinking is no surprise to dog trainers.

One guide trainer says dogs are very intelligent and with the right training are very capable of doing many things.

Kim Beltz grew up loving dogs.

Her companion is now a service dog named Arrow.

“He pulled me in my manual wheelchair,” she says.

For five years the five-year-old Golden Retriever has been by Beltz’s side.

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