Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Hero

For as long as I can remember, Pongo has never been much of a barker. Sure, an alert bark here and there, but never the shrill, eardrum piercing I-want-it-and-I-want-it-now! bark that Peyton has or the woo-woo-woo-feed-me-now-you-human! bark that Indy is famous for.

But early one morning seven years ago today, I woke up to Pongo barking in my face - very loudly. And then I heard the screams, and the frantic pounding on my door. As I scrambled to get up, I smelled the smoke, and when I opened the door, I could see the flames in the apartment across the hall. I grabbed Pongo and ran outside - somehow I had the sense to close my (fire-resistant) door behind me...otherwise I would have lost everything.

I don't remember much about that morning - it was all such a blur...lot's of screaming, crying, and waiting for what seemed to be an eternity for the fire trucks to come. But I do remember just how wonderful my spotty boy was. In a sea of panic, he was the picture of calm. He just sat in the front seat of my truck watching the chaos happen around him.

Several long hours later, I found out just how lucky I was. Out of the four apartments in my building, I ended up with just bad smoke and water damage - the others lost almost everything.

Knowing I was temporarily homeless, a good friend of mine took Pongo home with her for a few weeks until I found us a new place to live. I missed him like crazy, but knew that he was in good hands. And when I picked him up and he looked like a stuffed spotty sausage with little legs, I knew he definitely didn't miss a meal. And since Pongo is the master of making everyone think he's starving, he apparently had my friend's kids wrapped around his little paw. :)

Anyway, we survived the whole ordeal just fine, but I have to say that Pongo was an absolute rock throughout a very difficult time for me. He was my shoulder to cry on through many sleepless nights, and always had this quiet way of reassuring me that we'd be okay. What can I say...he's a fire dog after all.

Just a little story about my special spotty boy. Next time you find yourself slightly annoyed at your dog's barking, just remember that someday (hopefully not) you might really, really come to appreciate it.

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