Dog alerts owner of fire

Ruth Ellis
Staff Writer


A Susanville woman credits her dog for waking her up and saving her from what could have turned into a dangerous situation.

One day in late November 2011, Patricia Dudley said another person burned leaf piles on her Ash Street property but didn’t completely extinguish the burn piles.

Around 4 a.m. the next morning, Dudley said her pit bull/boxer mix, Missile, woke her up and when she got out of bed she discovered the pile had started flaming again.

“My dog practically dragged me out of bed and over to the window,” Dudley said and explained how Missile had grabbed her by her pajama shirt.

A boat that had gasoline in it was near the burning pile and Dudley said the fire was spreading in that direction and she believes if Missile hadn’t woken her up, the fire could have taken out her house and the building next to her residence.

Dudley called 911 and reported the fire, but she said a hose was nearby and she was able to extinguish the fire herself.

“Thank God the hose didn’t freeze,” she said.

Dudley and her husband, who  died last year, rescued Missile as a 7-month-old puppy when they found her wandering a street in Reno, Nev.

Missile was skin and bones, there was blood on her stomach and she had a gash on her face,  leaving Dudley to believe she had been hit with something.

Dudley also said Missile had a chain wrapped around her neck and they had to use a chain cutter to remove it because it was digging into her neck.

Missile was micro-chipped and Dudley said they were able to find the dog’s original owner who said the animal had been stolen and didn’t want her back.

After some further investigation, Dudley said they believed they rescued Missile from a dog-fighting ring.

Dudley said Missile is a great watchdog, and even though she has had no formal training, Dudley said the dog is almost like a service animal. One day, Dudley said she wasn’t feeling well and Missile grabbed her medication off her nightstand and brought it to her.

After Missile alerted her owner about the fire, Dudley said, “If it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t be alive.”

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