Fairy light blaze – saved by our res­cue pup

A thump on the bed saved Judy’s life

that's life (Australia) - - Contents - Judy Scrivener, 63, Tam­worth, NSW

Hold­ing back tears, I picked up a golden Labrador puppy. ‘I’ll take him,’ I told the owner.

Ad­ver­tised on­line for $100, this poor pup had scrappy fur and his skin was crawl­ing with worms.

You could tell that for the first eight weeks of his life, he’d been left to rot.

As an an­i­mal ac­tivist, my heart broke and I just couldn’t leave him be­hind.

With enough an­i­mals back at my house, I de­cided to drop off the dog to my friends who ran a refuge.

Jump­ing in the car I handed my son Mike, then 30, the scared pup.

Mike, who has an in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity, in­stantly smoth­ered him with cud­dles.

‘You can be my buddy and stay in my bed,’ he said.

Glanc­ing over at the two of them, I felt a smile stretch across my face.

No Judy, you do not need an­other dog, I scolded my­self.

But by the time we got home, my mind had changed.

‘We can keep him,’ I told Mike.

Over­joyed, he wrapped his arms around his pup which he, of course, named Buddy.

Head­ing into a home with six sausage dogs, geese, ducks, chick­ens, horses and cats, Buddy quickly found his place.

When I heard an­other re­port of puppy abuse, I sprang into ac­tion bring­ing an­other dog home.

Just over two years old, Red, the red heeler, had been kept in a box for his whole life.

We all wel­comed him into our home and Buddy was happy to fi­nally have a friend his size!

The pair were in­sep­a­ra­ble. As our fifth Christ­mas as a fam­ily rolled around, I un­packed the dusty tree.

With the lights still wrapped around it from the year be­fore, I set it up in the cor­ner of the liv­ing room.

Plac­ing presents around the base, the tree lit up the room.

That night, as I watched TV be­side the glow­ing tree, I no­ticed the lights flick­er­ing.

Loose plug, I thought, slid­ing be­hind the tree and jig­gling the cord.

The bulbs con­tin­ued to flicker off and on all week.

It’s time for new lights, I thought.

As Mike dozed off one night,

I whis­pered in his ear.

‘Nine sleeps till Christ­mas!’

With Buddy snug­gled on the rug in the lounge room,

I lifted my sausage dogs onto my bed and drifted off.

But at 2am,

I felt a thump on the bed.

Open­ing one eye, I saw a golden tail flick past.

Then a huge lick slurped across my face, wak­ing me prop­erly.

‘What are you do­ing Buddy?!’ I asked.

He’s never done this be­fore, I started to worry.

Just then, a slight smell of smoke tick­led my nose.

Jump­ing up, I headed down the hall fol­low­ing the smell. With Buddy on my heels, I saw thick black smoke fill­ing my lounge.

The toxic smell sent my heart pump­ing and my throat gagged at the stench.

I in­stantly knew that my Christ­mas lights had started

the blaze.

Rac­ing to Mike, I roused him out of bed and into the front yard.

‘There’s a fire,’ I soothed, as I sat him in the car, safely away from the house.

Jump­ing in be­side him, Buddy com­forted my boy.

Want­ing to get my other an­i­mals, I rushed back in­side.

With sausage dogs un­der my arms, I piled pet after pet into my four-wheel-drive.

Each time I ran back in, the thick smoke had en­gulfed more of my home.

Sit­ting in the car, I quickly did a head count… I was miss­ing some of my pets.

But with smoke bil­low­ing out of the front door and my lungs full of toxic gas, I knew I couldn’t go back in.

Hav­ing dropped my phone, I couldn’t even call for help.

‘Mar­garet!’ I screamed run­ning over to my neigh­bour’s home.

Mar­garet com­forted me as I di­alled for help, shak­ing.

Then we stood to­gether watch­ing the blaze take over my house.

In less than 10 min­utes, all we could see was flames.

Tears streamed down my face watch­ing it burn.

‘I hope every­one got out,’ I cried.

When the fire­fight­ers ar­rived and doused the flames, they slowly died out.

But with just our py­ja­mas on, Mike and I had lost ev­ery­thing – and just nine days be­fore Christ­mas.

In the weeks after, our neigh­bours opened their doors to us, giv­ing my whole pack a roof over our heads.

Find­ing some of our cats snoop­ing around the ash of our home, it was great to see some more of our an­i­mals had sur­vived.

A few months later, we found a new place to call home and our fam­ily has con­tin­ued to grow with an­i­mals I’ve res­cued.

And, of course, ex­tra belly rubs were in or­der for Buddy be­cause with­out him I don’t think we would be here.

I might have res­cued him, but he saved us.

He’s our Christ­mas mir­a­cle.

Brave Buddy woke me just in time Buddy and Red with the other fur fam­ily mem­bersA huge lick slurped acrossmy face, wak­ing me

Me and Mike with Buddy Me and Buddy in front of the burnt out shell of our home Tears streamed watch­ing itburnDid your pet save your life?

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