A New Hampshire man fights back tears as he observes the charred ruins of his former home. “I’m not crying for the mess,’ he says. I’m crying for the dogs.”
He and his son escaped a deadly fire with just minutes to spare thanks to their five year old beagle, Dupa. The loyal canine spared his family from a tragic end, and in doing so, gave his own life.
Paul Sousa Jr. says he awoke “to my dog grabbing my hand and pulling me so I would wake up.”
Dupa had done her job: Sousa Jr. saw his home was in flames, and ran to the other side of the trailer to wake his father. Both men escaped the blaze unharmed, but four of their five dogs, including Dupa, perished when the building became engulfed.
“I got halfway down the stairs and I turned and said, got to get the dogs and turned around and went back up. Forty seconds and the flame had traveled from the middle of the house all the way to the opposite side,” he says.
Tippi is the only dog who survived. There’s not much to salvage in the wreckage. Only a statue of the Virgin Mary is still standing. The Sousa’s say they are heartbroken, but grateful for a dog who lived up to the name of man’s best friend.
“Don’t underrate animals, they’re not stupid. They’ve got as much loyalty to you as most humans,” Paul Sr. said. “He was there for us and I truly believe that if it wasn’t for him one of both of us would’ve died.”