The Upbeat

Dog helps alert owner to house fire

The Upbeat

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File photo of Cocker Spaniel (Thinkstock)

File photo of Cocker Spaniel (Thinkstock)

Oz the dog helped save his owner's life when a fire broke out in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

WNEP reports that Randy Merlo was fast asleep in his home when Oz sensed something was wrong. Merlo told WNEP that the 12-year-old cocker spaniel woke him up on purpose.

"He was nudging me or whatever, what I can remember, he was nudging me, and I smelled smoke and we left. Saved my life, he probably did, most likely he did,” Merlo told WNEP. "He's a good dog."

Merlo and Oz escaped the blaze, but the house–a duplex–suffered extensive fire, smoke, and water damage. The fire reportedly originated in the basement of the vacant side of the building.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire. "We determined the origin in the basement of the home. We’re saying incendiary, suspicious but still under investigation," Police Chief Brian Hollenbush told WNEP.

Cocker spaniels are known for their loyalty. PetWave, a site that focuses on the well-being of pets, writes that they are "loyal, endearing companions that crave–and thrive on–human attention." The Cozy Pet blog ranks cocker spaniels seventh in terms of breed loyalty. Number one? The German shepard. We think Oz might take issue with that.

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