Heart of Courage
Life can be mysterious and unpredictable. Sometimes even the smallest events can lead to life changing moments. We recently had a close call and could have lost all of our dogs and our own lives in a terrible fire were it not for the bravery of a little sheltie puppy. We were very fortunate to have this little puppy staying at our new house and kennel. I hadn't really been looking for another sheltie. We have been in shelties only 2 years since founding KeDiOs Kennels and already had 9 shelties. Then I saw an ad placed by our breeder/mentor Locklyn Guzman for a lovely sable male puppy. Although this puppy was a beautiful BISS Am/Can Ch. GrandGables Boy Oh Boy ROMC son, the ad mentioned Locklyn was keeping a smaller brother from the same litter, and that was the puppy we wanted--if she would part with him. After several emails and phone calls Locklyn agreed to let us co-own the puppy now named Apple Acres Game Boy (Tetris).
Tetris was as feisty as he was beautiful and we lost our hearts the moment we saw him. Since he was a new arrival and only 6 months old, we let Tetris sleep in our bedroom with us. He was very well behaved and slept through the night for the first few days. However, on his seventh night he woke us up at 1 am with a pitiful howl. My first response was to put him out to potty. He didn't want to go but after a couple of "go potty" commands he obliged me. Then instead of running to the farthest part of the yard (we have 13 acres) brave little Tetris came back into what he knew was a burning house and with great determination herded us around barking, nipping at our rears and heels. We knew something was wrong, but did not have a clue what it was. We began searching for what the problem was and finally noticed a little smoke coming from a light fixture in the hall. What we did not know was that the back of our house and the roof were on fire. With no idea how serious the situation was, we called 911 and evacuated all the dogs from the kennel, and the birds before the heat and smoke alarms went off.
Our shelties evacuated the kennel in a very orderly fashion considering the circumstances. We have a definite social order at our house and our head bitch Reba (Ch. Odyssey Kazon on Stage) and her lieutenant Amira (Ch. Apple Acres Amira) kept all of our dogs in line with resident male Buzz (Apple Acres Toy Story) bringing up the rear, making sure there were no stragglers. I was pretty impressed as we have never had any sort of emergency drill and they clearly knew what was going on. We turned around as we left the kennel and were shocked to see the roof of our house was ablaze!! By the time the fire alarms went off (fancy new state of the art system with both heat and smoke detectors on every floor) our bedroom was engulfed in floor-to-ceiling flames, the fire department was on the scene, and all of our shelties were in the side exercise yard lined up at the fence (according to age and rank) watching the show. The first firemen on the scene said we would not have made it out if we had been asleep when the alarms went off. Once the fire made it into the attic it quickly destroyed the rest of the house and kennel. All would have perished in that fire except for the courage of one little 6 month old sheltie puppy named Tetris (Apple Acres Game Boy). We feel he is a great example of what a sheltie should be: brave, smart, resourceful, able to size up the situation and act on his own to safeguard his family. We will always be grateful to Locklyn for letting him come to our house. I do not like to think about what a tragedy this could have been had it not been for the bravery and the courageous heart of one little sheltie puppy.