This is the link to the newspaper report about the rescue of my Australian Cattle Dog mix, Millie, by Joe Cox, who is the Fire Chief for Alachua County in Gainesville, Florida.
What the newspaper doesn’t say is, I think, the most amazing part of the story.
Millie, an Australian Cattle Dog mix, was dropped off at the Alachua County Animal Shelter in Gainesville, Florida. She was deemed to be not adoptable because she was so terrified of people that she literally shut down when approached. When the vet at the shelter was preparing the injection to ‘put her down’ she realized what a beautiful dog Mille was and, on a hunch, called a woman who shares a love of Australian Cattle Dogs. She agreed to foster Millie and on April 18th, 2010, I adopted Millie.
One week later, my mobile home was destroyed by fire. I later got the fire report and this is the essence of the report. The firefighters made entry into my home and my chocolate Labrador, Jackson, immediately ran out of the house. Firefighters thought they may have heard another dog, but my neighbor, unaware I had gotten Millie, told them I only had one dog. The fire was so intense the firefighters were forced to leave the home. Once the blaze had subsided, Joe Cox reentered the home. He heard Millie whimpering, but the smoke was so dense he couldn’t find her (and in all likelihood she was hiding from him). He continued searching until he was ordered to exit the home again due to the amount of smoke and the potential danger to himself. The firefighters set up fans to exhaust some of the smoke and Joe Cox entered my home for a third time. He finally located Millie and actually fell through the floor bringing her out.
When I arrived at the scene, not only was Joe Cox administering oxygen to Millie (as it shows in the picture) he had also started an IV on her and was on the phone with his vet trying to determine if there was anything else he could do for her. I later found of that he spends some of his personal time at his vet’s office learning how to administer first aid to animals he might encounter in his duties as Fire Chief.
Millie has made continued progress in the time since the fire. She will always have a ‘smokers cough’ but it doesn’t interfere with her enjoyment of life. Losing so much in the fire would have been unbearable had I also lost my dogs as well, as I’m sure you’ll understand. Without Joe Cox’s extraordinary efforts, I certainly would have lost Millie.
I sleep better at night knowing that Joe Cox and others like him are in the world.