Hearing Dog Pickle saves her deaf recipient, Kirsten and her now-husband and everyone in her block of flats lives.
Normally, Pickle only comes onto the bed to tell me that the alarm has gone off in the morning, by giving me a little nudge with her nose. It’s a lovely way to wake up, with a happy dog ready to enjoy the day ahead. However, one night, my fiancé (now husband) Matt and I were asleep in bed at about 10.30 pm, when Pickle came in and jumped on me suddenly. She was very persistent. As well as nose nudges, she kept tapping me with her head and licking me. I woke up and asked her ‘What is it?’, by holding my hands out, palms upward. This is usually the cue for Pickle to lead me to the source of a sound. This time, however, she jumped off the bed and showed me the sign for danger, lying on the floor. This told me that there was a smoke alarm going off, but that she wasn’t going to lead me to it. I smelled smoke. I opened the bedroom door expecting to be met with a fireball. I was so scared as I walked out into the living room. Still, I couldn’t see anything wrong, so I thought maybe it was nothing. By this time, Pickle was very insistent. She kept following me, nudging me and dropping to the floor. This confirmed that something really wasn’t right, but I just couldn’t see any flames in the house. I was panicking. I opened the kitchen door and still couldn’t see anything. Then, I felt the vibrations from the smoke alarm. Pickle was still showing me danger sign as I looked through the front door peephole viewer and saw flames and smoke billowing out from next door. I dashed back to Matt and told him we needed to get out – now. We managed to get out of the flat and into the safety of the fire-fighters who had just arrived, and who later praised Pickle for a job well done. We were due to get married the next week and, thanks to Pickle, this could still happen.
Worker dog, Pickle, is nominated for a SuperDog Award.