Woman credits dog with saving her life


The dog is credited with waking up his owner as the fast-moving fire rushed through her home early Monday morning. She says she has spent her life around animals and is now a big believer -- more than ever -- in the bond humans and dogs can develop, a bond she says saved her life.

He's not your intimidating guard dog, but what Peanut lacks in size he makes up for in heart and intelligence. The Manchester terrier mix is the reason his owner Teresa Brown is still alive.

"He jumped up on the bed and he was just kind of jumping, trying to get me attention, trying to wake me up," she said.

Peanut succeeded in waking Brown at 4am. Her home was already on fire and bedroom ceiling was about to collapse.

"By the time I was going out the back door, some of the burning embers from the ceiling were starting to fall down," Brown said.

Minutes later, the roof collapsed on her bed. Her four sons now view Peanut with different perspective.

"Peanut is the little hero. That is what he is," said Miguel Garcia, Brown's son.

Brown must still find the strength to push forward. Her home of 35 years is a total loss, as are most of her belongings.

On a fixed income, Brown says no longer could afford insurance.

"It will be an adventure figuring out how we are going to start over and where it's going to take us," she said.

But Brown knows the adventure will not be alone. Her four sons will do their best to help her get back on her feet.

Active in her church, parishioners are already giving thanks the only losses were material possessions -- and of course that Peanut, whom she adopted from the SPCA nearly six years ago, is still by her side.

"I think, pets are very important and when you have a bond with a pet, they'll do anything to protect you," Brown said.

Firefighters told Brown the fire started in the breaker box. With no insurance she plans to stay her son's home for the time being.

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