Tiny Dog is Big Hero When Hearing-Impaired Owner's House Catches Fire

More on PawNation: chihuahua, hearing-dogs, hero, house-fire, rescue, service-dog
Spaz the hero chihuahua dog picture

Photo: jupiterimages / Corbis

One little Chihuahua-mix didn't let his size get in the way of a big rescue. Lillian Miller, a 58-year-old Florida resident, had removed her hearing aids when she went to bed last weekend, and although the fire alarm started going off around 3 a.m., she continued to sleep peacefully. That is, until her dog, Spaz, barked loudly enough to wake her up.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Miller took the dog out, thinking he just needed a late-night potty break (who hasn't needed one of those from time to time?), but when she turned back to her mobile home, she saw flames coming from the windows. Miller's mother, Eudora, credits the pooch with saving her daughter's life, adding that although they don't know Spaz' age, he's "cute as can be."

Carol Christopherson, President of Florida Service Dogs, Inc., said, "Those [in the deaf and hard of hearing community] who have pets often report that their animals (whether trained or not) either bark at them or paw at them to communicate. Dogs are reactive in nature, and since they don't understand the English language, their world is all visual, like a deaf person. "

On a side note, trained hearing dogs really do some amazing things. Deana Welch-Dale, a teaching consultant for the deaf and hard of hearing, has seen dogs that alert to their owners name in busy and loud environments. Additionally, they can pay for items at the grocery store, grab a drink from the fridge, even call 911 in the event of an emergency!

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