Dog Wakes Owner in Middle of Night, Credited for Saving Family of 3 From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

BY Louise Chambers TIMEJanuary 25, 2022 PRINT

An Iowa family’s beloved dog became their biggest hero after she saved their lives during a carbon monoxide scare at home.

It happened just five days before Christmas. Brad Harbert, from Ankeny, Iowa, was woken at around 12:45 a.m. by the family dog, Roxy, licking his face and howling.

“Roxy was jumping on and off the bed, shaking, howling, and shivering,” Harbert, 37, told The Epoch Times. “I awoke to the loud chirping of the carbon monoxide detector going off.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Brad Harbert)

It had taken almost 20 minutes for the noise to rouse him from deep sleep, he surmised; their 7-year-old husky-coon hound mix helped stir them awake.

“I shot up from bed,” said Harbert. “I opened my son’s door, and Roxy jumped up on his bed, made sure he was alive, and licked his face. I woke him up to get his slippers and coat on, as we needed to get out of the house.”

Harbert then rushed to his 69-year-old dad asleep in the basement, Roxy following downstairs, jumping on his bed, and howling.

Harbert then checked the family’s carbon monoxide detectors and called 911, before the trio hurriedly put on their shoes. He’d purchased the detectors years earlier, after hearing news of a family who’d died in their sleep from carbon monoxide poisoning. Already lightheaded, Harbert knew they needed to exit the house fast.

Epoch Times Photo
(Illustration – Zigmar Stein/Shutterstock)

He raised the garage door and found that Ankeny Fire Department crews had already arrived.

Upon inspection, they found high levels of CO coming from the fireplace, Harbert said. MidAmerican Energy was then called to do a retest with their own specially calibrated equipment, and they confirmed the presence of the poisonous gas.

After shutting off the fireplace, Harbert bid farewell to emergency crews, before he, Jaxon, and his father retired back to bed to sleep off their near miss.

The dad gives all the credit to Roxy.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Brad Harbert)

“We might have been dead because of this. She’s a hero dog, and we owe her our life,” he said. “We couldn’t imagine life without her … she just is a wonderful dog, companion for my son, and our shared family pet between all of us.”

He and his family hope others will learn from their close call and install detectors for odorless, tasteless CO gas in their own homes.

Offering a few words of caution, the dad advises others to also get their fireplaces inspected frequently, change the batteries in their smoke detectors, and make sure they have a working CO detector. “It saved our life!” he added.

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Louise Chambers is a writer, born and raised in London, England. She covers inspiring news and human interest stories.
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