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As Family Log Cabin Erupts in Flames, Owner's Dog Manages to Wake Her Up Just in Time

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Three weeks ago, life was looking good for Ryan Littlefield and Robin Whitaker of Crooked River Ranch, Oregon. They had recently inherited a log cabin that Littlefield’s own grandfather had built in 1986 and were getting settled in.

But on Monday, at around 2:00 a.m., Whitaker was woken up by her dog and soon realized something was seriously wrong.

The house was on fire. One of Whitaker’s three dogs, Boo, was doing her best to alert Whitaker and get her away from danger.

“I would have never woke up in time,” she told KTVZ-TV. “I know that for sure, I’ve thought about it a million times, and if she wouldn’t have been so persistent — I … there’s no way.”

“I swear, it was like teamwork. She is the only reason why I woke up.”

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Later, on Facebook, she explained how Boo and her other two dogs escorted her out of the house. The smoke was so thick she couldn’t see anything, but her three canine guardian angels made sure she got out.

“All 3 dogs made sure I made it out of the house,” she wrote. “Boo even waited at the top of the stairs until she knew I was down from the loft.

“The other two met me at the bottom and we found our way through the smoke to the backdoor. None of the dogs left my … side but this girl truly saved my life.”

Whitaker had left her phone inside when she’d been woken by Boo, so she had to scream until neighbors heard her and called for help.

Thankfully, Littlefield and their kids were not there that night — and all the dogs got out. There were losses, though: Littlefield’s grandparents’ and father’s ashes were destroyed, the log cabin was deemed a total loss and the couple’s two cats — who had recently birthed a litter of kittens — died in the fire.

So far, the fire department has said the cause of the fire is inconclusive, though it’s clear that the blaze started outside the home.

The community, both immediate and online, has rallied around them. A GoFundMe has been created for their cause, and the locals have been helping out too.

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“We’ve only lived here for a month, and it just seems everywhere we go someone is you know — reaching out, so we’re super, super-grateful,” Whitaker explained.

Since the title was in the process of being transferred, the home was not yet insured. Still, the family is putting the best spin they can on things and meeting the unknown with a brave sense of optimism.

“We both know that everything happens for a reason, and, you know, when bad things happen … it’s just moving everything out that’s not meant to be there to bring in better things, bigger things,” Whitaker said.

“Anyone have a camper or RV for sale?” she added in a post on Facebook. “Also we are looking for camping gear. We are going to take the summer to clean up the property and have as many adventures with the kids as we can.

“Thank you so much for all the support. We are staying positive and preparing for the next chapter in our life.”

A chapter made possible by a very special dog named Boo.

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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