One day, an adorable dog came strolling into the yard of Charity Golloway’s home in Virginia. The pup was “super nice and gentle” and had a collar on, but she had no idea where he came from.
Charity posted a picture of the pooch on Facebook to find its owners, but no one reached out to her. So, she assumed it was a stray and decided to take him in, making her two children very happy.
They named their new family member Butter and made an outdoor shelter for him, fitting it with an electric lamp so he could keep warm. The dog enjoyed his cozy resting spot—until it burst into flames one night.
The lamp had apparently caught fire, and the flames quickly grew. Butter understood something was terribly wrong and barked incessantly at Charity’s bedroom window to warn her of the danger that was less than five feet away from her house.
“He knew something wasn’t right and that someone needed to know,” Charity said. “He’s a smart dog.”
The fire alarms had not gone off yet when Butter started barking. It took Charity a while to get up, but as soon as she did, the heat from the fire had burst one of their windows. She remembered how the flames got big really fast.
“It’s overwhelming actually how fast it happened,” Charity said.
Because Butter had warned them early about the fire, Charity and her children were able to evacuate their home safely and call 911 before the flames engulfed their entire home. Before the Valley Volunteer Fire team arrived, her son even managed to put out the fire using their garden hose.
Butter was happy to greet the firefighters who responded to the call, and they all felt the same way about the heroic dog.
“It was a really nice dog,” said firefighter Justin Stidham. “It came up and played with all of us. I was sitting there petting it. It was just nice as it could be.”
The firefighters inspected the home and discovered that it had only sustained minor exterior damage, including melted vinyl siding and Charity’s broken window. It’s fixable, but it will take time.
Thankfully, repairs are the only thing that Charity and her family have to deal with.
“If wasn’t for that dog, that house would’ve been lit up all throughout the ceiling, and we would’ve been there for hours fighting that house,” Justin said.
Early notification made all the difference because it slimmed down the fire department’s response time—and it’s all thanks to Butter.
A photo of the dog hanging out with the firefighters was shared on Facebook and went viral, leading to an unexpected call for Charity. Turns out, Butter isn’t a stray—his parents recognized their missing pup through the photo that’s been circulating online.
Charity and Butter’s owners have been in touch and verified that Butter had been living with her. The dog’s real name is actually Cooper. He ran away from home over the summer, so his family was very eager to see him again.
“He’s going to be leaving us and that makes me want to cry, but I’m happy for him,” Charity said. “We will be staying in touch.”
Charity and her kids are enjoying the time they have left with Cooper. She said that before the lifesaving dog returns to his owners, she will reward him with a big, juicy steak. After all, he deserves it.
“If it wasn’t for him, who knows what could’ve happened. It could’ve been way worse,” Charity said. “I’m really grateful for that stray dog that wandered up into my yard.”
Good job, Cooper! Click on the video below to learn more about this story.
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