Lifestyle & Human Interest

Dog Wakes Family at Midnight After Sensing Deadly Killer: Family Springs Into Action


When a family pet starts to behave oddly, it can be concerning. Are they sick? Did they get into something they shouldn’t have? Are they trying to tell you something?

The latter turned out to be true for a Siberian husky/coonhound mix named Roxy from Ankeny, Iowa.

Owner Brad Harbert told WOWK-TV that Roxy is usually “mild-mannered,” but on Dec. 13 she was going berserk in the middle of the night.

“I could tell something was up with Roxy,” Harbert recalled. “She just was jumping off my bed, jumping back up on the bed.”

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Once Harbert really woke up, he realized something was wrong.

“When I started to kinda come to, I was hearing an alarm, and it wasn’t the smoke alarm,” he said. “So I jumped out of bed. Right when I did, Roxy came out to the hallway, and she scratched Jaxon’s door to see if he was okay, and his door was closed.

“But I grabbed the [carbon monoxide] detector and found out, sure enough, on the front, it says that if it chirps four times … there’s active carbon monoxide in the house.”

Harbert quickly woke his son, Jaxon, and his father, and all four immediately went outside. Harbert called 911, and the fire department was soon there.

After the house was assessed by MidAmerican Energy, they found that the home’s gas and electric fireplace was leaking, which caused the dangerous carbon monoxide levels.

With that confirmation, Harbert knows the family is indebted to their pup and her keen senses.

“I could tell something was wrong that night that she woke me up and just her actions, she was kind of shivering and just really concerned that we were gonna get outside,” he said. “Very, very happy to have a dog and very, very happy to have her.”

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The proud owner posted about the incident on his Facebook page, too, using the opportunity to recommend everyone purchase a carbon monoxide detector if they don’t already have one and recognizing his pup as a hero.

“Look for Jax, and I and Roxy on WHO TV news tonight at 10,” Harbert shared on Facebook on Dec. 18. “Roxy saved our lives the other night with our carbon monoxide detector. PSA get one if u don’t have one. May save your life as we had a leaky fireplace.”

In a comment, Harbert added that reporters were “fighting” over who would get to cover the heartwarming story.

“We’re proud of our Roxy and the Ankeny Fire Dept.,” Harbert commented. “Thank you!”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking