Port Richmond is a Philadelphia neighborhood located in the Wards section of the city and is well known for its large Polish and Irish-American communities. this part of town is the setting for a heart-breaking story, the end of which is still not clear. Ten-year-old Che, a Chow and Labrador Mix, saved the life of his owner, Andrea F. Bulat, from a fire that destroyed the ground floor of her row-house home. He lay on top of her and wouldn't stop barking until neighbors were alerted and called for help. (See my article on Sassy the Chihuahua.)
Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze. Both dog and owner were transported to hospitals, she to Temple University Hospital and he to the Red Paws Emergency Relief Team. They were both in critical condition (she still is) and doctors did not expect the dog, lying unconscious on top of his owner, to make it. Che refused to leave her side, even after both of them needed to be revived with oxygen masks before being transported for further treatment. (See my article on Tara the Cat.)
The Red Paws Emergency Relief Team
According to this non-profit animal rescue group that was started some five years ago by Jennifer Leary, a Philadelphia Fire Fighter and Red Cross Emergency Responder, the original fear was that the dog would not survive. He did suffer one setback, but rallied and was well enough to leave the hospital last week. A family friend is caring for Che and has also agreed to assume treatment costs provided by this wonderful animal organization. (See my article on Baxter: The Lab Who Saved a Child From Choking.)
This animal group provides relief and recovery for displaced pets and their owners every single day of the year. Their emergency services offer help to animals displaced by fires; flooding; gas leaks; building collapses and hurricanes. The Red Paw Emergency Relief Team works in conjunction with the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management, the Philadelphia Fire Department, The American Red Cross and other public and private disaster relief organizations.
Che is an eighty-pound bundle of love and devotion. Thanks to his barking, the neighbors noticed the fire and notified the fire department before it could spread to other buildings. The cause of the blaze is still unknown. The dog is recovering but very sad that his owner is not by his side. Hopefully, she will recover soon and they can rebuild their live together. (See my article on Major Tom.)