How Did The Dog Know The House Was On Fire?

My last post was a while ago, in it I promised my next would be about my nephew's dog. He was the reason my sister was not inside her home when it caught on fire. Did he know something terrible was about to happen? I think he did, I consider him a hero.
20180823_180748    First, let me give you some information about this remarkable dog. About 6 or 7 years ago my nephew moved into his own home. He decided he wanted to get a dog as a companion. My nephew loves the outdoors, so he wanted a dog that he could take for runs in the park, as well as, take on hunting trips. My nephew researched different breeds and finally settled on the breed called Vizsla. He traveled across 3 states to go pick up his new best buddy. After meeting this little reddish brown bundle of energy, he decided he'd name him, "Max". Max was a handful as he grew into an adult dog. He reminded me of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, because he bounced and bounced wherever he went. Once he was a grown dog, he was so heavy he would almost knock me down when he'd happily welcome me to his home. I usually would pause by a wall or vehicle and lean against it until my welcome hug from Max was over. No one wants to see a fat, hunched backed middle aged lady lying on the floor. Besides that as stiff as this disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis, has made me I'd probably never be able to get up :P
Back to the story, my sister had took a week of vacation from her job. Since my nephew was working, she told him to bring Max to her house. She loves to spoil her granddog. As she was going about her day, she noticed Max kept going to the front storm door. She knew he'd already pottied outside so she couldn't figure why he wanted out again. She talked to him, thinking he might be missing my nephew. Although she found Max's behavior odd, she pushed it from her mind as she cleaned her home. Finally Max began running into the all glass storm door and whining. My sister was afraid as heavy as Max is that he might break the glass door, so she closed her front door. She comforted Max with a pat and reassuring words that she would take him outside as soon as she finished her task at hand. Max was incessant and began pawing at the front door and whining with more intensity. My sister thought the dog was acting so strange and unlike his normal self that she put his leash on him in case there was an animal or some kind of wildlife outside. She knew something had him all stirred up and she didn't want him chasing a cat or some other creature through the subdivision. As soon as she opened her front doors, Max bolted. My sister had to hold on tightly to the leash, as Max dragged her down the 5 concrete steps that led to her yard. She said he seemed to want to get a distance away from the house. After he pottied she told him it was time to go inside. She said Max fought her all the way to the bottom of the steps. My sister not knowing what was making Max try to pull her back into the yard was getting annoyed. She straightened herself and wrapped Max's leash tightly around her hands. She struggled to pull Max up the steps to the door. Max whining all the while. When my sister started to reach for her door knob, she caught a glimpse of flames. She looked through the glass as her kitchen cabinets were blazing. Max took the opportunity to pull her away from the door. Luckily she had her cell phone in her pocket. She quickly put Max in her car and called 911.
After talking with the 911 dispatcher and knowing the fire trucks were enroute my sister was in a state of shock. She knew the fire engines and sirens would scare Max so she moved him in her car to a neighbor's house. She gave him praise for saving her.
In the days that followed the fire, the inspector came to investigate the cause of it. He determined the fire was sparked by a light switch and plug in located by the kitchen door. He told my sister based on what he saw that he believed there was a flash of fire. Almost like a small explosion. He told her it was a good thing she was outside when the fire broke out.
I guess we'll never know for certain but we believe Max must've sensed the fire. Whether he smelled the switch and plug in getting hot or even if he could hear something, he definitely knew they needed to get out of that house. Max couldn't speak but he communicated what he needed. Our family has always loved our pets but Max is one very special dog. We'll never forget how he saved my sister.
Love your pets and listen to them. They can communicate, if you pay attention.

Update: My sister is still in counseling. She is suffering from PTSD. My sister and brother in law lost most everything in the house. A cleaning crew tried to save their clothing but some of it was too yellowed. The insurance also brought in a crew to try to restore some of their wooden furniture, however some of it got some hot that the varnish bubbled. They had to tear everything out of the house down to the studs. Last week, my youngest nephew completed rewiring the home and it passed inspection. They installed new insulation and currently new sheetrock is being hung. The hope is they be back in their home by Christmas but it will depend on the contractors. Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes during this difficult time.
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  Hugs and pain free wishes my friends!
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Fall Brings Something Besides Cooler Days

  Fall is here finally! It seems like it's been so hot for so long, I couldn't handle being outside for very long. These cooler days are definitely a welcomed relief from the heat. So why does my pain levels have to increase every fall? I began to notice this trend a few years ago. It is disheartening because fall and spring has always been my favorite times of the year. Those two seasons are when the temperatures are just right for me to enjoy the outdoors.

 I used to love traveling through the mountains to look at the beautifully colored leaves. I'd have my husband and kids get out of the vehicle with me at every scenic overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I miss those days. As my Ankylosing Spondylitis has worsened I haven't been able to travel as much or as far as I once did. Sitting for extended periods in a vehicle makes it almost impossible for me to move. It's as if my body seizes up if I don't keep it in motion.

  I was talking to some friends the other day. They both have fibromyalgia. I mentioned to them I haven't been sleeping well and aching so much more. They both said they were experiencing the sleepless, painful symptoms also. I shared with them how this always affects me when fall arrives. We all agreed it is thanks to the weather change. I have heard older generations speak about how their arthritis is more symptomatic during rainy or cold weather. I never truly gave it much thought until my health deteriorated. It wasn't an old wife's tale, I now feel the same effects generations before have felt.

  I wish there was a magic answer to ease the pain. Unfortunately, all we can do is deal with the symptoms. Some people make a "rainy day" relief pack. This can include items such as heating pad, ice pack, essential oils, ibuprofen, epsom salt, Aspercreme, or some other topical pain relieving cream. Feel free to share your method of relief in the comments. Perhaps it can help someone who's facing a sleepless, painful night.

  I wish each of you pain free days ahead my friends.