In 2010, in a town north of Anchorage, Alaska, a call was made to emergency services about someone’s workshop on fire. Trooper Terrence Shanigan was the one to respond to this call, and was making his way to the fire when his GPS froze up.
The area he was in was 75 miles of backroads; trees were everywhere, and the darkness made it even worse for him to keep a sense of direction. Considering this, Shanigan had little choice but to drive around and pray that he would come across the house.
It was then that he saw a shadow on the road.
It was Buddy, a German Shepherd who was only 5 years old at the time.
The dog glanced at the vehicle a few times, as if he was making sure he would be followed. And once Buddy knew that he had the man’s attention, he started sprinting down the road.
Something inside of Shanigan told him that this dog wasn’t running away from him—he was being led to something.
“It just one of those things that we’re thinking on the same page for that brief moment,” Shanigan told the Associated Press.
The dog kept running down the road, with Shanigan tailing him, hoping it would lead to what he was looking for.
And his instinct was right.
Buddy led the patroller to the remote workshop that was almost completely up in flames.
Shanigan immediately called the fire department, and they were able to put it out before the fire could reach the home that was right next to it. This was all caught on Shanigan’s dashboard police camera.
The fire had started when Buddy’s owner, Ben Heinrichs, was working on his truck inside the shop, and a spark hit some gasoline. A fire started from it and it spread to the entire shop, which is when the man escaped, and he told his dog to find help.
And Buddy wasted no time doing so. The workshop was lost, but so much more would’ve been lost too if Buddy hadn’t found the trooper.
Had it not been for Buddy, the family’s house would’ve most likely burned to the ground.
This wasn’t the first time Buddy had been a hero; he’s also chased bears away that were close to his owner. The dog has always had heroic tendencies inside of him.
To reward the brave dog, the Alaska State Troopers awarded Buddy with a stainless steel dog bowl that says, “diligence and assistance.” He looked more than happy to receive this gift.
“If it wasn’t for him, we would have lost our home,” Heinrichs said.
Who knows if the trooper would’ve found the house had Buddy not found him? It’s tough to say, but all that’s for sure is that Buddy succeeded in saving his family and his home.