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'Wonder Dog' Saves His Master's Life from Fire

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WAYNE COUNTY — Move over Lassie. Wayne County has its own hero dog. A 14 pound poodle is getting high praise.

The poodle's persistence certainly paid off when he saved his master from a fiery fate.

Judy Pierce believes she would be dead if it were not for her dog. Her 8-year-old poodle, Jean Claude, woke her up last Saturday night just in time to escape her burning house.

"I love him. I've always loved him. I just didn't picture him as being a hero, and he loved me enough that he put me first," explained Pierce.

He weighs only 14 pounds, but Jean Claude kept tugging at Pierce's hair until she woke up to the sound of smoke detectors. She sleeps with a fan turned on every night, so the sound was not enough to wake her up.

The fire spread quickly enough to ruin her Wayne County house.

"When I sat up in the bed, I could see the smoke. The smoke was real thick. I grabbed him, and I ran out the front door," said Pierce.

Because the fire started in the kitchen, Pierce believes an electrical problem is to blame for the blaze.

Whatever the cause, she says she owes her life to the 14 pound marvel.

"They really are man's best friend. I know that he will be with me when no one else is," said Pierce.

Both Pierce and Jean Claude are staying with friends until they can rebuild.

Pierce says "Jean Claude" comes from good stock. His father recently sold for $12,000 in a New York dog show.

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Brian Bowman, Reporter
Brian Bowman, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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