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December 9, 2002

This dog is a hear-oh

From: St. Louis Post Dispatch, MO - 09 Dec 2002

BY SUSAN WEICH Post-Dispatch

Every dog has its day, and Saturday was Jake the beagle's.

Jake saved his owner, Angela Garamella, who is deaf, twice from fires in her home.

So on Saturday, the St. Charles Humane Society honored Jake at its Holiday Happenings event at 1099 Pralle Lane.

Jake, 5, saved the day most recently on Nov. 14, when Garamella, 35, was taking a nap on her couch.

She didn't see the strobe light go off on her specially designed smoke detector, so Jake tugged at Garamella's shirt sleeve with all of his 28 pounds. When she didn't respond right away, he gently bit her arm.

Garamella got up and saw smoke coming from the basement. She went downstairs to find her water heater on fire. She called 911 and got out of the house - with Jake, of course. Also saved was Garamella's other dog, Cleo, a miniature Dachshund, who hid under a bed.

Firefighters say that without Jake's actions, last month's fire and an electrical fire three years earlier, could have been fatal.

At Saturday's event, St. Charles Fire Department spokesman Dave Lewis said that sensory-impaired people can benefit from owning a pet.

"Jake's bravery is a good example of what our pets can do," he said.

Also present at the awards ceremony was St. Charles Councilman Rory Riddler, 1st Ward. He said he was proud to know that "this brave dog is a resident of my ward."

He added that firefighters have known for some time that "man's best friend is also a firefighter's best friend" and that Jake proved the point.

Garamella was clearly overwhelmed and proud of her dog at the ceremony, hugging and kissing Jake as praise and gifts were piled on the pooch.

Gifts included a brass dog tag for Jake from Incredible Engravings; gift baskets from Kennelwood Village and Hawk Ridge Pet & Feed Supply; a coat embroidered with "Jake: Super Paws Hero" and another for Cleo saying "Hi, I'm Jake's Sister" from Shelly's Sewing Specialty; a one-year subscription to Pet Friends magazine; microchips, to track Jake and Cleo if they got lost, from St. Charles Animal Hospital-St. Charles Humane Society; pet food from El-Mel Feed Supply; a one-year supply of pet food from Royal Canin USA, Inc.; a pet photo with Santa Claus; and animal training donated by Charlotte Mielziner.

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