By Michael Walsh / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS


Animal lover Paul Kemp of Des Moines, Iowa, amazed his co-workers at no-kill shelter Animal Lifeline Thrift Shop with the tale of Sheeba’s heroism.

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.


Sheeba is Kemp’s ‘life, his pride and joy,’ said a co-worker.

“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.

This is Shelby, the Rescue Sheltie!!  He is 4 years old, and adopted me 2 years ago.  He has never had any rescue training, but on Wed. night, 11/24/10, he got help for me!!

I have been having blood pressure problems and my Dr. is trying to regulate it via meds.  He had given me new rx he wanted me to take at night, which I did.  I had been outside with Shelby, and when I walked back into the house, I fainted with no advance symptoms; totally loosing consciousness.

Shelby ran upstairs to my neighbors’ back door, and barked til he woke their dog up, who in turn, woke them up, (it was 1:30 AM).  They looked out, saw Shelby, and knew something was wrong.  When they opened the door, he immediately turned and ran back downstairs, where they found me and called the EMTs.  When they opened their back door, they say he only stopped once on his way back downstairs to look over his shoulder at them, as if to say “are you coming or not?”

I live alone and he is my constant companion, now he is my hero as well!!

What a wonderful story Theresa & we are happy to hear you are OK!