A special dog is getting special recognition for saving a life.
Rex is part of the Hawman family in Vonda, near Aberdeen, Sask.
The tenacious Alaskan Malamute–German Shepherd cross is among five heroic hounds being inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame in Toronto Tuesday.
Mitch Hawman and his wife Santana rescued Rex from a local shelter more than eight years ago.
“He was probably about eight months old when we got him, so he still looked like a pup, just a little furball,” Hawman said in an interview with Purina.
In December 2015, Hawman’s mom, Noreen Lucas, was visiting.
“Every time mom comes down, she’s always got to go see Rexy,” Hawman said.
“They say animals can kind of sense when somebody is not well, and my mom has been sick quite a bit throughout the years.”
On Christmas Eve, Lucas was battling pneumonia and decided to stay at the family home while the kids and grandkids travelled to Saskatoon.
She took a sleeping pill and closed her eyes.
Lucas said she woke up when Rex barked and nudged her.
The dog then latched on to her leg, pulling Lucas off the couch and dragging her towards the front door. It was then she noticed flames engulfing the hallway.
“I just looked at it and Rexy was nudging me like, ‘Get up,’” Lucas sad in the interview with Purina.
At that point, Lucas said she mustered all her strength to get up and out the house.
Hawman’s wife, Santana, said the family was about 10 kilometres away at the time when she saw the sky glow; her heart sinking.
“I don’t think she would have made it out..it would have just been a really bad Christmas,” she said.
The home was a complete loss, but Rex’s heroic efforts helped save what was most valuable in the house.
“I’m thanking Rexy, and I promised him the biggest stick in the whole wide world,” Lucas said.