This story was last updated in December 2020.
It’s no secret that animals have incredible intuition when it comes to sniffing out danger. But when Willow, a great Pyrenees puppy, sniffed out a fire before it turned into a full-on blaze, her family was left amazed by her senses.
Two nights before Thanksgiving, Caitlyn Radel-Paaby had just returned home from the grocery store. When she went downstairs, she realized she couldn’t find her 10-month-old puppy, Willow. The dog always greeted her when she came home, so she felt something was off.
Caitlyn searched the house and eventually found Willow hiding under a desk.
“[She] went under the desk and started acting really nervous and barking and wouldn’t come out,” Caitlyn told The Dodo. “She even got a little defensive to get our attention and that’s when we noticed the outlet.”
The dog was staring at the wall, and when Caitlyn touched it, she discovered the wall was hot to the touch. She knew something was wrong, and called the fire department right away.
It was a good thing, too; Willow had smelled an electrical fire behind the wall, and she caught it just in time before it turned into a full-blown house fire.
“The fire department said if we hadn’t found it when we did our house would have gone up in flames overnight,” Caitlyn said, adding that she is proud of Willow for saving the family’s lives.
“She had never done anything like this and we were shocked,” Radel-Paaby said. “She is always making sure her human brother is safe and she clings to me like crazy and usually will alert if something is off but never anything serious until the outlet.”
Awestruck, Caitlyn posted about the near-miss on Facebook on Nov. 24.
“My dog just saved us from an inevitable fire,” she wrote. “There was a fire in the electrical box that if we hadn’t caught would have spread to the rest of the wall over night or while we were sleeping. I can’t tell you how proud I am of her.”
Caitlyn told The Dodo that while the situation was surprising, Willow’s good deed was not; the dog’s human mom sensed that Willow was a good girl from the moment they first met.
“She is a cuddler and loves to give hugs,” she said.
A couple days later on Thanksgiving, this is one family who knew exactly what they were thankful for: their safety, and one very good puppy they’re lucky to call their own.
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