Dying bulldog saves owner from blaze on Grand Rapids' Northwest Side
by Kym Reinstadler | The Grand Rapids Press
Saturday May 23, 2009, 8:54 PM
GRAND RAPIDS — Scott Seymour's decision not to euthanize his cancer-filled dog loomed large Saturday when the 9-year-old American bulldog awakened him to escape his burning house.
"Brittney might whine a little when she has to go out, but she never, ever barks when I'm sleeping," said Seymour, 39, who has had the dog since she was 6 weeks old. "She was demanding that I get up.
"And it saved my life."
Seymour said he was sound asleep about 5:45 a.m. in his rented home at 727 Seventh St. NW when Brittney roused him by barking insistently at his bedside.
Temptation on a Saturday morning may have been to muffle the sound by pulling a pillow over his head, but Seymour has been doing anything he can to savor his last few weeks with Brittney.
He had a grave decision to make on May 7, when an ultrasound revealed five clusters of tumors in the dog's tummy.
Seymour ruled out the veterinarian's offer of chemotherapy, believing it would be too hard on the normally energetic Brittney. Also, the veterinarian had said the dog might not survive the surgery to remove the tumors.
Instead of having Brittney put down then, Seymour eagerly accepted the offer of giving his companion steroids to blunt the pain until death comes naturally, probably within a few weeks.
"She's been eating really good these days," Seymour said, noting there's no harm in spoiling a dying dog.
Brittney tires quickly — she spent much of Saturday after the house fire sleeping and Seymour's parents' home in Zeeland.
Still, Seymour credits the medication for helping the dog feel comfortable enough to enjoy spending time together.
The fire is believed to have originated in faulty electrical wiring. Smoke detectors in the home did not sound, although flames already were consuming the roof of the home. Firefighters said the home may be a total loss.
Seymour said he doesn't have renter's insurance, but he was able to remove some of his furnishings.
Seymour said he and Brittney will stay with his parents until he can find a new place.