Two Steps Ahead

A Cardigan Welsh Corgi becomes a one-dog emergency response team.



I awoke at 4 a.m. on an extremely cold and windy February morning. I planned on leaving for work in an hour so I let the dogs out while I prepared their breakfast. When I let them back in, my youngest Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Safari, did not want to cooperate. I finally got her in the house and put down her food. Safari, for the first time in her life, refused to eat. She uncharacteristically ran to the back door barking to be let out.

Fearing something was wrong with my girl, I put on my winter gear so I could go outside with her and make sure she wasn’t sick. I grabbed a bucket of water thinking that I might as well take care of the animals in the barn as long as I was dressed for the cold. Safari ran to the barn, barked, then ran back to me and barked. I continued walking to the barn and she continued her impatient and insistent barking. I figured Safari was trying to tell me about something in the barn. Because Southern Minnesota is noted for coyotes, foxes and occasional cougars, I proceeded cautiously. Safari became more and more anxious, bouncing and barking at the barn door.

As I got closer to the barn, I saw the distinctive glow of a fire. I ran inside, leaving the door and gates open. Because I had a bucket of water with me, I tried to douse the fire on my own. The animals’ water trough was just outside of the back door so I continued to douse the fire until all the flames were gone.

After all the flames were gone, it was time to step back and take stock of the situation. Fearing my animals might succumb to smoke inhalation if left in the barn much longer, I went to gather them and take them outside. I could not find them. Then I remembered that in my hurry, I had left all the gates and doors open. I started to panic, thinking the llamas could be a long way down the road by now and daylight was still several hours away.

I did not need to worry. My wonderful little dog had gathered them and was holding them just outside the front door of the barn. All the animals were safe, and the building and its contents were saved because of this great, young Cardigan Welsh Corgi. She is my hero!

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