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Belgian Malinois Dog Saves His Owner From Potential Fire at Virginia Beach

Belgian Malinois dogs are recognized to be one of the smartest dogs out there. You can find them in the army, the police force, and many regular people are becoming bigger fans and buyers of this amazing dog breed. Richard, a 67-year-old retired locksmith and businessman, can sure vouch for that. Last Monday, Rex, his Belgian Malinois, rescued him from a potential fire at his house, while he was taking a way too deep bit of a nap. Richard, who lives by himself in a house in Little Neck, Virginia Beach, considers himself extremely lucky of having this dog’s company.

Rex is a highly active dog. He wakes up early in the morning before sunrise. He has his breakfast, runs a little bit in the backyard, and comes back in, to wake up his owner and friend, Richard. They both then go on for a jog, something that both the locksmith and the Belgian Malinois seem to enjoy deeply.

Last Monday, things seemed normal for Richard, who has just starting to enjoy the benefits of retirement. He has worked for more than 30 years as a Virginia Beach locksmith. And for the last 12 he has owned his company, called Good Lock. “I enjoy the job. I started when I was about to turn 40. Before, I worked as a salesman. And working as a locksmith, I have been doing that for a long time. But this year I wanted to retire. So, I have given the responsibility to my oldest son”, he mentioned. “I got up early in the morning, read the news, had a light breakfast, and then I went jogging with Rex”, he added.

Later, both Rex and Richard went to Chesapeake Bay. According to the locksmith and company owner, they went for their morning jog, which has become inevitable for them. “In the middle of this Corona-virus thing, I think it’s important to stay healthy. That is why I keep running. And having this fella right here has been great”, mentioned the proud owner of Rex. We could see that Rex is well fed and trained. According to Richard, the dog sleeps next to him on a special mattress on the floor. “He is almost like a son to me”, Richard mentioned.

After going to the beach, and running in the sand, the locksmith Virginia Beach came back home with his Belgian Malinois. They rode on their SUV. And prepared to continue with their day. By noon, Richard had lunch on its way: “I started fixing lunch. I’m not a big fan of eating out; so, I made a salad and started to boil some pasta”. Afterwards, the man and his dog waited for the pasta to be ready. They sat on the couch. They turned on the TV. The problem is that Richard fell asleep right away. Luckily enough, his alarm is connected to the fire department.

One hour went by. Richard was sound asleep. The alarm went off, and the dog started barking madly. However, the locksmith would not wake up. Bruce, the next-door neighbor, and Richard’s friend, overheard the barking and started to walk towards the house. As he was approaching the entrance, the dog went towards him, and almost dragged him over to the living room where Richard was sitting down.

“At first”, said Bruce, “I thought that my friend had passed out or something. But when I crossed the door, I felt the smell of something burning; there was smoke. So, I went to the kitchen. There was a pot with a cloth on top of the lid. It was in flames already”. The next-door neighbor got into action. He threw the pasta pot into the sink. The kitchen was already covered in smoke. He made sure that everything was alright. And then he woke up his friend and neighbor.

Lt. Mary Melendez, one of the firefighters involved, who almost immediately arrived, said that Richard was lucky enough to have the dog’s companion. Although, she was not too happy about the locksmith Virginia Beach’s cooking skills. “As a firefighter it’s shocking to see how many fires could be easily avoided at home. When cooking, people should not leave their kitchen unattended. In this case, the person left a cloth on top of the pot. So, that was extremely dangerous. The gentleman was lucky enough of having his alarm connected to the fire department. Also, he has good luck that the dog made a lot of noise. And that his neighbor was close enough to hear it and come all the way over to his house. This could have, easily, been a tragedy”.

We asked the Virginia Beach locksmith for the reason of him putting a cloth on the lid. He replied that he learned this from his deceased wife. “Jen taught me to do that. She always said that if you put a cloth on tip of the lid, if you cover the lid with a cloth, that way you avoid having a humid kitchen. When I boil pasta, potatoes, or whatever, I always do that. But I never fell asleep”, he remarked.

According to Bruce, the dog has always been there for his owner, ever since Richard’s wife, Jen, died. “Rex has been an incredible company for him. Ever since the dog arrived, he has been a blessing. I once saw him prevent an accident. A small kid -another neighbor’s daughter, was playing with a ball on the front yard. She kicked the ball so hard that it went off to the street. So, off she went too. Richard, Rex and I were sitting on my porch. And the dog saw the danger. It ran after the kid. And started barking at her. Within two seconds, a car went passing by the street. Of course, the kid started crying. She thought Rex was going to attack her. It all happened in seconds. We got the ball for her, afterwards, and explained to the parents what had just happened”.

We asked the Virginia Beach locksmith about his thoughts after Monday’s accident. He mentioned that he feels lucky of having Rex around. “I feel blessed that I am still alive”, he said, “and I’m thinking of going on a trip. There are some cabins that I wanted to visit, in the countryside, in the middle of the woods. I would like to have some rest now”. When asked if he would be taking Rex with him, he replied: “For sure, there is no way I would travel without him”. We also asked Rex what he felt about his heroic spirit and him travelling to the woods. “Woof, woof”, was all he said.

Good Lock
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
Phone: 757-755-0605

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