By Michael Walsh / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Man’s best friend earned that moniker — yet again — when one saved her owner’s life by waking him during a house fire Tuesday morning. That man wasted no time returning the favor.
Paul Kemp lost everything in the fire that ravaged his Des Moines, Iowa, home, and he would have died if his Shetland Sheepdog, Sheeba, 3, hadn’t jumped on his chest, reported KCCI .
“Her first instinct was to wake me up, you know, thinking about me first,” Kemp told the local station.
The Iowa man awoke to see the fire raging a mere 10 feet away and used his coffeepot to throw water on the flames, but when that didn’t help, he bolted from the home.
Kemp thought the Sheltie was hot on his tail but realized she was still in the burning building once he got outside. He rushed back inside and yelled for Sheeba, who came running toward him. Both emerged from the flaming home unscathed.
“I love her. She’s my little girl, you know,” Kemp said. “I’ve always loved her, but, you know, now that she, you know, she saved my life, you know, she showed me that she’s my best friend, you know, because, she was worried about me.”
Kemp went to his job at the Animal Lifeline Thrift Shop, a no-kill shelter for abused animals, where he has worked for about six months and amazed his co-workers with the story.
“He has the best spirits about it, and he just loves that dog,” assistant manager Amy Jones told The News. “He’s so thankful for what happened and what he’s got. That dog is his life, his pride and joy.”
The man and his best friend are staying at a nearby motel until he finds a new apartment. He has homeowners’ insurance.