I keep my heart and my soul and my spirit open to miracles.
- Patrick Swayze
Pit bulls get a bad rap. They're often viewed as violent, unpredicatble and poorly behaved, even though there is nothing to indicate they're different from any other dog breed. Call it dog prejudice, if you will. One bad apple, and all the rest get called rotten.
But at least one pit bull can genuinely be called a hero this week.
On Monday night, Danna Smith of Huntington, West Virginia, was getting some much-needed sleep. The single mother had recently spent time in the hospital, and was responsible for raising her three children, who each have varying degrees of autism.
At 5:00 a.m., Danna was awakened by loud barking and vicious growling. A pit bull was clawing and scratching at her sheets, nipping at her legs. Was she under attack?
Danna bolted upright in bed. No, the dog wasn't attacking her, she realized. The room smelled strongly of smoke. There was a fire—and the pit bull was trying to wake her up.
"The alarms didn't go off; nothing went off," Danna told WSAZ news. "He's what went off."
The pit's quick actions allowed Danna and her family to escape to safety in the nick of time.
According to WSAZ news, Danna's landlord expressly forbid dogs from the property. So the pit bull wasn't Danna's pet. His name was Ghost, and he belonged to Danna's boyfriend. He was only staying over that night to help care for the children as Danna recovered from her hospital stay. Ghost normally wouldn't even be there.
The fire itself, likely caused by faulty wiring, started in an upstairs bedroom, the room of 7-year-old Josiah. But Josiah was the only member of the household not there that night—he was away at an autism treatment center. "If he was there, he wouldn't be alive right now," Danna told Fox 11 News.
Was it only the dog who saved the day? Danna thinks Ghost got a little help.
"It's the good Lord up above, the Father almighty," she says.
Do you have a "Right Place, Right Time" story? Were you somewhere you didn't think you were supposed to be, only to discover there was an unexpected reason for it? Or do you have an animal story to share—a dog or some other pet who mysteriously saved the day? Tell us your story. We love to read them and share them with our Guideposts fans!