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Ebach sisters' dog is 'Pet Hero of the Year'

Fierce barking wakes ladies to smoke-filled room

August 22, 2011
By Terri Kelly Barta

A black wooly mutt named Jordan is the ND 2011 Pet Hero of the Year.

The award was presented to one of his two owners, Mary Ebach, Rugby, at the North Dakota Veterinary Medical Association's Annual meeting in Fargo. A family dinner was held on Tuesday, August 16 and four pet awards were presented in different categories.

The award stems from an incident that took place on July 31, 2010 at the home of two sisters, Mary and Clara Ebach in Rugby. It was a hot night and the two ladies had a window air conditioner and a fan to help circulate the cool air through the house. At about 2:00 a.m., Jordan started barking loudly.

"He kept barking fiercely until I turned on my light," said Mary.

However, Jordan wasn't satisfied to just have one of the sisters awake, he kept barking until Clara also awoke. The two women found smoke filling up the living room.

Mary told Clara that she feared that there was fire in the house and that they needed to get out quickly. Jordan led the women away from the smoke-filled living room to the kitchen and out the back door. The faithful dog stayed with his owners outside.

"Jordan stayed with Clara outside the house, comforting her, while Mary went back into the house to unplug the fan before a fire started" read the story submitted to the association by Jordan's veterinarian, Dr. Richard Lagasse.

"I was so mad that the fan overheated, I unplugged the fan and threw it into the yard," laughed Mary.

Apparently, the batteries were not working in the smoke alarm and it did not go off.

"When I think what could have happened to us..." said Mary, her voice trailing off. "In looking back the scariest thing was the oxygen tank," she added.

Clara uses oxygen to breath and had the tank on. The two ladies were afraid it would blow up from the smoke. They just couldn't believe their faithful companion, Jordan, had saved them from possible harm.

When she talks about Jordan, there is a special tone of love in Mary's voice.

"You look into Jordan's eyes and he looks like he's looking at your soul," said Mary.

The sisters have owned the dog since he was born in 2000. Jordan, whose mother was a purebred English Cocker and whose father was of questionable parentage, has always been a very protective dog for the two ladies.

Seeing the bond between the dog and the two ladies, treating the dog over the years and hearing of the incident, Dr. Lagasse decided to send in the story and an application for Pet of the Year to the ND Veterinary Medical Association.

The following is the first paragraph of Dr. Lagasse's story: "Jordan has always been a special dog and companion. Ever since he was a young dog, Jordan has struggled with severe allergies and periodic skin infections. Because of his allergies, his owners have had to make several trips to his veterinarian every year and was often treated with various medications and special diets. His great companionship made it all worthwhile for his owners."

Jordan, when he was younger, would chase balls, run happily through the meadow, and chew on bones. At age 11, he has slowed down a bit. He takes aspirin to help him move around better. But despite all that Jordan was still able to protect the two ladies he loves.

"I was so excited when I heard he got this award," said Mary.

She went to the award ceremony, but thought the trip to Fargo would be too much for her beloved pet so Jordan had to wait until she got home to see his plaque.

 
 

 

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