We have all heard the stories of heroic dogs coming to the aid of their humans during medical emergencies, dangerous situations and disasters. On the morning of December 2 a 14-year-old boy proved that a person’s devotion to their pet can be just as strong when he raced to the aid of his dog Zach during a fire at their home.
Mike Assi of Phoenix, Arizona had just boarded the bus when he saw smoke pouring from his house. His mother and sister had already left for the day, but 8-year-old dog Zach was trapped inside. Mike shouted for the driver to stop and bolted towards his home, ignoring the driver’s demands that he stay on the bus.
Mike, a student at Deer Valley Middle School, told KPHO News:
“The bus driver was yelling at me telling me not go in but I just had to open the door. I had to at least yell for my dog to see if I could give him a chance to come out. I was just worried about him. I wasn’t scared about my well being. I was worried about him because he’s family.”
Unable to open the front door, Mike rushed around back and threw open the rear door. Despite his young age, Mike knew enough not to enter the smoky residence. Instead he began calling Zach’s name from the doorway until the Pit Bull mix appeared.
Once outside, Zach sat down in the yard, dazed from the shock and fear. Mike scooped Zach up and carried him back towards the street away from the smoke. Firefighters arrived shortly after and were able to contain and extinguish the fire. There was significant damage to the home.
Capt. Aaron Ernsberger of the Phoenix Fire Department said that Mike was smart not to enter the residence. It can take as few as one or two breaths of smoke to render a person unconscious.
But Mike never gave a thought to himself. His only concern was trying to rescue the dog he’d grown up with since early childhood.
“I’ve lived with him 8 1/2 years. I’m only 14… that’s basically all my life.”