Four-legged hero needs a home

A brave dog who rescued his family from their burning home last fall is now looking for someone to take him in.
Desiree Alfred and Cory Morrisseau are grateful beyond words to Vadour, their five-year-old black lab, for saving them and their four-year-old son, Keenan, from their burning home back in November.
But they can’t bring him along to their new home.
The family was sleeping in their trailer on Couchiching First Nation on Nov. 15 when Vadour started barking from his tether in the backyard around 4 a.m.
Alfred said it was not unusual for him to bark occasionally. “There are some cats in the neighbourhood that pester him, but usually he stops,” she said.
“He just wouldn’t stop barking [this time].”
The barking roused her enough that she could hear strange noises. “I heard some crackles in the ceiling and it scared me,” she recalled.
Alfred went to the door to look outside but saw nothing. It wasn’t until she looked out the kitchen window that she saw what Vadour was barking at.
“I saw smoke and a little bit of orange,” she said.
She told her husband the house may be on fire. He got up and ran to the fire department while she collected their son and got out.
They fled to the home of Morrisseau’s parents, along with Vadour.
Christine Jourdain of the Couchiching Fire Department said the cause of the blaze isn’t exactly clear, but it may have started in the wiring on the roof.
There were two working smoke detectors in the trailer, but because the smoke was outside and above the level of the detectors, they never went off.
“They melted and fell to the floor,” Jourdain said. “They said it was their dog barking that woke them up.”
Alfred shuddered to think what would have happened if Vadour hadn’t been there.
“We probably would have had to break a window to get out, if we woke up at all,” she said. “He saved our lives.”
Now homeless, the family has been staying with Morrisseau’s parents, but Vadour can’t come with them because there already are five animals—both cats and dogs—in the house.
Alfred said the dog can’t go with her father because his health has been poor lately.
For now, Vadour remains tied up outside the burned-out trailer. The family visits him every day to play and bring him food, but they’re hoping to find a better situation for the heroic dog.
“I don’t want to give him up,” Alfred said through tears. “My son’s going to be crushed. But I know it’s the best thing for him.”
The family has been looking for an apartment to move into, but most landlords don’t allow dogs.
“They all say no pets, no pets, no pets,” she said. With no alternatives, the couple turned to the local Friends of Animals.
“He literally saved his family’s life,” said Tanya Ness of Friends of Animals. “I really feel this dog deserves a good home.”
Alfred said Vadour—named for Darth Vader of “Star Wars”—is very good with children and strangers, but does not get along with cats.
“He loves my son,” she enthused, adding they adopted the dog at six weeks old just a few months before their son was born.
As a puppy in the house, he would run from window to window to watch as Morrisseau walked towards the trailer on his way home from work.
The couple moved the dog outside when the baby was born, so he is used to being both indoors and outdoors.
“He’s pretty smart. He stands at the door and barks if he needs to go out,” she said.
Alfred said the ideal home for Vadour would be on a farm in the country where he could run.
Anyone interested in adopting Vadour can contact Friends of Animals at 274-2144.

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