A woman has told how she was awoken by her “hero” dog licking her in the face to alert her that toxic smoke was filling the house, so that she and her partner were able to flee in time.
Kirsten Carmichael, 36, is certain that the couple would have been killed if it wasn’t for her cockapoo called Pickle who pointed out the danger.
Mrs Carmichael, from York, suffers from Ménière’s disease and completely lost her hearing in both ears in 2016.
She adopted trained hearing dog Pickle two years later and has described her as her “soul mate and guardian angel”.
Mrs Carmichael was awakened by the pup who was repeatedly licking and nudging her.
She then realised Pickle was demonstrating the sign for danger, so she got out of bed to find out what was going on.
“I checked each room and couldn’t see anything to worry about, but Pickle directed me towards the door,” recalled Mrs Carmichael, who now lives in Selby.
“I looked through the peephole and noticed smoke billowing out of my neighbour’s property.
“I initially panicked as smoke had started to also come into our home, but Pickle has a way of keeping me calm.”
She added: “I woke my partner and now husband Matt, and we rang the fire brigade and were able to safely leave our home – as did our neighbours.”
By the time the couple was able to leave the property, it was full of toxic smoke and they had Pickle to thank for alerting them.
Pickle has also been named as a finalist in the Amplifon Awards For Brave Britons 2021 and has been invited to the virtual awards presentation on Tuesday, October 5.
The event will be hosted by BBC1 TV Breakfast and Radio 5 Live presenter Rachel Burden and Falklands War hero Simon Weston will be guest of honour.
Shortly afterwards the fire, the couple tied the knot and heroic Pickle attended as ring bearer. Now Mrs Carmichael is expecting a child.
“I’ve faced a lot of rejection because of my disability but because of Pickle, my outlook on life is much more positive,” she said.
“Having her by my side means I’m never scared of being alone and she’s always there for me when I need her.”
She added: “Without her, we wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t have gotten married and we wouldn’t be looking forward to this next chapter in our lives. She is my hero.”