A little history. I am a 45-year-old disabled retired man. I am afflicted with the disease called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Chronic Musco/Skeletal Arthralgia, a disease that has many of the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. My pal is Spencer, a 7-year-old male Pointer-Harrier mix. I've been his daddy since he was 6 weeks old. He is a highly trained, extremely protective, wonderfully affectionate dog.
In August, 1997 (he was 6 1/2 years at the time), I was making lunch for myself, which included frying some sausages in a fry pan. While the pan began to heat up, I sat down in the living room, when I suddenly became VERY tired, and without thinking about lunch, decided to take a nap. (Extreme fatigue and loss of cognitive abilities are symptoms of this devastating disease). I went to my bedroom to lay down and nap. Spencer always lays on the floor on his blanket next to my bed.
I fell asleep almost immediately, only to be awakened by Spencer barking in the direction of the hallway. At first I told Spencer to be quiet, to stop barking. When he got up and looked down the hallway he began to alert bark. His barking became more loud, and more "beware" worthy, like someone he didn't know was standing in the hallway.
When I got up, the hallway was filling with HEAVY smoke. It was so heavy I had to get on the floor to breath. When I followed it to the kitchen, there was a 4 foot tall flame on the stove where the frying pan was on fire. I had forgotten about the sausage. Spencer's alertful barking woke me and prevented the fire from getting worse, by alerting me to the smoke. The smoke detector in our hallway was old and very DEAD, something I will never allow to happen again. I purchased TWO new detectors, and rewarded Spencer with all the greatest love and attention I could.
Spencer is a hero! I'm alive today because of him. Because of him, there was smoke damage. A frying pan, the hood of the stove, and the plastic stove light cover were damaged by the flames and heat. I've not reported this to anyone besides my family, because up until now, I didn't know about this "site," until I watched Animal Planet on TV.