TEHKUMMAH – Chaos, the four-year-old Boxer that saved his owner Mike Deforge from a house fire in late February, is in the running for this year’s Purina Animal Hall of Fame competition.
As printed in the March 3 edition’s lead story, Mr. Deforge was asleep at home when a fire started on his porch. Chaos jumped to the alert before his smoke detectors began to go off and before the house filled with smoke, allowing the two of them and a cat to escape by jumping through a back window.
“I think that’d be great,” said Mr. Deforge. “He deserves it, he really did his job.”
One other time, Mr. Deforge was driving when he and Chaos got into a collision, knocking the man unconscious. When first responders arrived at the vehicle, Chaos wouldn’t let them near because he was trying to protect Mr. Deforge; they had to take the dog away and console him before they could get at Mr. Deforge.
There are three animals from Manitoulin Island in Purina’s hall of fame, which has celebrated animal heroism since 1968.
A bouvier des Flandres named Shylea joined the ranks in 1986 when it awoke Kagawong resident Bill Read when a fire started in his home. Shylea’s warnings let the two of them and two cats escape before the home burned down.
In 1995 a nine-year-old dachshund named Wrinkles attacked an armed man who was trying to break into his owner Floyd Lockyer’s hotel room. The intruder fired off his gun but he eventually ran from the dog’s attack.
In 2007, collie-shepherd mix Echo saved her owner Tish Smith of Evansville when her canoe capsized in the big water. The dog paddled beside her and shared her warmth even after Ms. Smith lost consciousness; an aerial search eventually found the two of them.
The Expositor also nominated Ivy, a cat owned by Tehkummah resident Mary Johnston, after Ivy alerted her owner that former reeve Eric Russell had gotten entangled in his garage door in 2016. That bid was unsuccessful.