By Dave Crawley

DUNBAR TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Janice Pennington was greeted by firefighters when she arrived at her Dunbar Township home late Friday night.

The fire started in the bedroom, where her husband was sleeping.

“Max saved him,” she said.

Max is husband Gary Pennington’s 135-pound black lab.

“He’s ringing the bell, which he normally rings to go outside to the bathroom,” Gary recalls.

“He kept nudging at him again,” says Janice, “and finally, my husband woke up.”

“He got me up, and went past the bathroom. And I could feel it. Had half a breath of air, and if I stayed in any longer that was it.”

“He dropped to the ground, and then he told Max, ‘Guide me out to the garage.'”

“He’s all over me. So I grabbed his tail. He started pulling me real hard,” Gary continued. “When we got to the living room, I said ‘Grab the phone!’ So he grabbed the telephone. He brought the phone to me and I said, ‘Get me to the garage.'”

He collapsed into the garage and called 9-1-1 on the phone Max brought him. But his dog wasn’t finished.

“I told Max to run back and get the other dog. And he did. He got her. It’s a little one, but by the time the firemen got here, she went back in again. So they went in and saved her.”

Though he still feels the effects of smoke inhalation, Gary Pennington says the outcome would have been much worse if not for Max.

“He saved my life, absolutely.”

Max has earned the title “Man’s best friend.”

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