Web Exclusive: Dog saves man from fire, then man saves dog

DES MOINES, IA (CNN) - An Iowa homeowner lost everything, but not his life, thanks to his four-legged friend.

"You daddy's best girl? Come on, you daddy's best girl?"

Sheba - a three year old Sheltie - is never far from Paul Kemp. They even work together at the Animal Lifeline Thrift Shop. Paul sorts donations while Sheba keeps watch, just as she was overnight when she jumped onto Paul's chest as he slept on the living room couch.

"It was unusual, and startled me - and then i saw the fire."

Paul says when Sheba woke him the fire was about 10 feet from where he was sleeping.

"So I went and got my coffee pot, and threw some water on it and it didn't help, and it just grew really quickly."

He ran outside and assumed Sheba was with him like always.

"I was yelling outside for her, and i didn't see her and i figured she had to be back in the house, so i went in the house and yelled for her, and then she came running and ran outside."

"Woof! Woof! Oh I love you too! ooohhhhh! hahahaha!"

Co-Workers were shocked to see Paul and Sheba at work just hours after their ordeal, but at the Animal Lifeline, this story of dog saves man, man saves dog goes hand in hand with the mission of this no-kill animal shelter that takes in sick, injured and abused animals and gives them a second chance.

"I love her, she's my little girl - I mean I've always loved her but now - she saved my life ya know. She showed me that she's my best friend, because she was worried about me, I mean she wasn't running around when she first saw the fire - her first instinct was to wake me up ya know - thinking about me first."

Firefighters have not determined the cause of the fire but believe it was accidental - Paul did have homeowners insurance - he and Sheba are staying in a hotel in the meantime.


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