A hero’s tail
SIXTEEN-year-old bichon frise Bronson is being hailed a hero by his owner Chris Boyle after sounding the alarm when a fire broke out in his home on Tuesday night.
THEY say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but try telling that to 16-year-old pint-sized pooch Bronson.
The courageous canine saved his family from a house fire on Tuesday night and owner Chris Boyle said everyone in the house would be dead if it were not for brave Bronson’s efforts.
Mr Boyle said he was about to go to sleep about 10pm when he saw his old pet bichon frise, who is deaf, visi on i mpaired and arthritic, becoming agitated.
‘‘ Bronson was grizzling and whimpering and I thought it was his arthritis,’’ Mr Boyle said. ‘‘ I got his medicine, but he still kept carrying on, not acting like himself and then I smelled smoke.’’
After i nvestigating, Mr Boyle realised smoke was billowing out of the roof of his Yarrawonga home’s master bedroom, severely damaged during Cyclone Yasi.
He said he called 000 and emergency crews were quick to arrive. Mr Boyle, though, feared the worst would have happened if it were not for his reliable pet, which the f amily had owned s i nce Bronson was a puppy.
‘‘ I would say without any question of a doubt we would have all died of asphyxiation in our sleep,’’ he said.
‘ ‘ I know enough about smoke and about fires to know we would have just been asphyxiated and the fire would have taken the whole top floor out, if not the whole house. We all would have been dead.’’
Mr Boyle, who owns Payless Chemists, said after Bronson’s life-saving alert, he and his general manager Jason Ridings, who was also staying at the house, were able to turn off the power and escape safely.
He said after fire crews searched his property, they found a transformer in his r o o f c o v e r e d i n c y c l o ne debris had been set alight.
The proud pet owner said he dreaded what would have happened if his wife Louise, who had injured her back during cyclone clean-up efforts, had been home by herself when the fire started.
Mr Boyle said his wife was in hospital at the time of the ordeal and was shocked when she heard the news.
Mr Boyle said his pet would now be spoiled even more than usual for his efforts.
‘‘ I think he’d get an extra treat tonight for sure.’’
Photo: FIONA HARDING
WONDERDOG: Chris Boyle with his pet Bronson
Photo: FIONA HARDING