Big heroes can come in small packages — just take Jasper, for example, a 4-year-old dachshund who saved the day for one Connecticut family early Sunday morning.
Bethel resident Robin Houser said that the family dog started barking and acting up around 3:30 a.m.
"He was jumping on my husband's head. He wouldn't give it up," said Houser.
Thankfully, the dog's persistence paid off. Houser's husband caved and finally went to look and see if there was an animal or something else outside that was possibly spooking the dog.
"That's when he noticed the neighbor's porch was on fire," Houser said.
The Zanbeli family next door was asleep in their beds as the fire broke out, and they are grateful for the dog's instinctive reaction, as well as their neighbor's quick reactions.
"He was amazing. His dog started to bark a lot and wake up, and they called 911 and saved our lives," said Izabella Zanbeli. She and her children, Luisa and Leandro, waited anxiously in the front yard as firefighters with the Stony hill Volunteer Fire Department knocked out the fire. The damage fortunately was contained to one corner of the back porch.
Houser said Jasper didn't calm down until help arrived.
"As soon as everybody came, the police, and the firemen and everything, he calmed down. So he definitely know what he was doing," she said.
Firefighters have not yet determined what caused the fire, but the family says that as a result of the fire, they've now updated all of their smoke detectors, either by replacing the batteries or getting new ones.
And the Zanbeli family said they owe a debt of gratitude to Jasper — a big fan of liverwurst treats.
"I was surprised that he did it, but I'm not surprised that other animals do it," Houser said of Jasper's actions. "It's just not like him. He's so goofy."
But this time, he wasn't goofy. He was heroic.