According to a WJHL report, a missing dog that was temporarily given shelter by a Virginia family saved that family’s life when a fire broke out just outside of their home.
The Golloway family had been sleeping in their home when frantic barking caught their attention. Charity Golloway and her two children were aware of a dog in the neighborhood, nicknamed Butter, who had become known as the neighborhood stray. When Charity went to investigate the noise she saw that a fire was blazing outside the house and had spread to the house itself.
According to Charity, Butter’s barking woke her just in time for her to hear a window in her home burst from the flame’s heat. Fortunately, Golloway and her children were able to leave the house safely and put out the flames before they spread too far.
“If it wasn’t for him, who knows what could’ve happened,” Golloway explained, recalling the events of the night. “I’m really grateful for that stray dog that wandered into my yard.”
Butter had been visiting the Golloway household on a semi-regular basis for some time. They had assumed, therefore, that the dog was a stray as he kept returning. Upon realizing this, they decided it would be a good idea to provide him with some shelter should he be in need of it.
The shelter they had put together was meant for outdoor use as an easy-access space for Butter to rest and sat around five feet from the Golloway home. They had not only put a roof over Butter’s head but included a heat lamp to keep him warm on cold nights.
However, the heat lamp faltered one night, catching fire to Butter’s shelter according to Valley firefighter Justin Stidham. When the dog realized what was happening he quickly sprang into action barking at Golloway’s bedroom window in an attempt to grab her attention and warn her of the danger to her and her family.
“He knew something wasn’t right and that someone needed to know,” Golloway recounted to WJHL. “He’s a smart dog.”
Butter’s heroic actions didn’t stop there, however. Once the family has safely exited the home the flames grew rapidly, beginning to engulf the side of the house. Butters knew what to do and quickly started to push Golloway’s son to grab the garden hose and use it to douse the flames and stop them from spreading to the rest of the house.
“The flames just got big really fast, it’s overwhelming actually how fast it happened,” Golloway recalled.
Fortunately for the Golloway family Butter’s quick thinking and heroic actions didn’t only save the Golloway family’s lives, but also prevented the disastrous destruction of their home. As a result, the final damage was not extensive.
However, the story doesn’t end there. Butter had been assumed a stray up until this point owing to his repeated sighting in the neighborhood and tendency to wander the streets. However, the firefighters called to the scene took photographs of Butter to post to the Valley Firefighters Facebook page to applaud his heroic actions when something unexpected happened.
Someone had recognized the dog in the photos, who turned out to be a missing dog named Cooper. The owner of Cooper reached out to the Golloway family after spotting the images to arrange the collection of their pup. He has since been reunited with his original family, which Golloway explained made her want to cry, “but I’m happy for him,” Golloway said. “We will be staying in touch.”