A toy Australian Shepherd is being hailed as a hero for saving his owners’ lives on Monday morning while a fire ripped through their self-made home.
The couple, Drew and Becky Jennings, had lived in their self-built house in Potosi, Texas, since 1987 and had it paid off without insurance.
But shortly after 1 a.m. on Monday, a fire began in their garage, KTXS reported.
The Jennings’ family dog, a toy Australian Shepherd named Sundance, was in the garage keeping warm next to a heater.
The family believes the heater, which was plugged into an extension cord, caught on fire. Sundance began to bark, waking up Drew and prompting him to call 911. The Potosi Volunteer Fire Department received a call about a fire at 1:11 a.m. on Monday.
Potosi V.F.D. Captain David Spraberry said that within minutes of arriving on scene, the house was already in flames.
“By that time, most of the damage was done,” Spraberry said.
Firefighters from neighboring towns joined in to contain the fire, and succeeded in doing so by 2:45 a.m.
Spraberry said saving the house was unfortunately a lost cause because of the fire being over the firefighters’ heads and an inadequate water supply, but the Jennings family and two dogs— including Sundance— made it out safely.
Sadly, two other dogs did not make it out of the fire alive.
Nearly everything in the house was destroyed except for two family Bibles and a hand-carved wooden cross which Drew made for Becky.
“It’s a miracle,” Becky Jennings said.
The Jennings family is fundraising through GoFundMe to offset the costs of the damage of losing their home. As of Wednesday afternoon, the page has raised more than $5,000 out of its $100,000 goal.
Other dogs who have had a sixth sense about danger have saved their owners from life-threatening fires. In October, a dog saved his owner by using his nose to nudge him awake enough so he could realize there was a fire.