Mark Woodbury has lost everything but what’s most important. The Rutherford, New South Wales, Australia man went out to get some supplies for a fishing trip, and when he returned ten minutes later, he found his house ablaze. Like many in the same situation, he thought first of his best friend — his four-year-old dog, Ditch. So he ran straight into the burning house to save his dog from the fire. While it seems an incredible act of bravery, Woodbury put it succinctly.
“There was no way I was going to let my dog burn to death.”
His simple words reflect what most pet owners would be thinking in that situation.
On the first two tries to find his dog in the house, he had to turn back because of the smoke and flames. But on his way out the third time, he tripped over his dog. He took him in his arms and ran from the house to the driveway. Originally he thought the dog was dead, but Ditch gasped and his Woodbury realized he was still alive. He began resuscitation attempts, but thankfully a nearby veternary student had noticed the smoke and ran over to help. Soon police and paramedics arrived and began to treat Ditch, putting him on a ventilator to remove the smoke. The dog was taken to the nearest emergency vet, and is recovering there.
Woodbury lived at the house for the past eight years with his wife and three children. None of them were home at the time of the fire. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, but may have been from an electrical fault. The family is currently waiting for alternative housing to be secured.
Nearly everything in the house was destroyed. Unfortunately none of the contents were under insurance. Still, Woodbury knows he did the right thing.
“He would have died in there if I hadn’t gone in.”
When the story was first posted to the Sydney Herald, it quickly went viral and received over 30,000 visitors. People have offered to donate money, pay vet bills, and even give free meals. The story provided a refreshing contrast to other, more grim animals stories, like the killing of Cecil the lion by a U.S. dentist who was hunting, and the death of one of the few remaining Northern White Rhinoceros in the world. And it’s what most pet owners would want to do for their own.
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[Image via Maitland Mercury/CATH BOWEN]