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Sick dog alerts Michigan family to carbon monoxide leak: ‘He just didn’t seem well’

Dianne and Gary Smith with Rascal

ZEELAND, Mich. — (WXMI, CNN) A Michigan family was able to escape a carbon monoxide leak — thanks to their dog, Rascal.

Diane Smith said her dog started showing signs of slowing down on Tuesday.

“He wasn’t coming right to me when I called his name, he wasn’t coming into the kitchen,” she said. “Well, he finally came in the kitchen, but he just collapsed, so I have him so goldfish crackers and he wanted nothing to do with that, which was unusual.”

Smith took him to the vet who didn’t find any sign of illness, so they went back home. But Rascal started to act weird again.

“I picked him up, he was just as limp as could be, and we sat on the couch over there, and he was just laying there,” she said. “He wasn’t responding like he usually does, he just didn’t seem well.”

So, Smith texted one of her friends.

“She relayed it to her husband who said tell her to get out of the house it might be carbon monoxide, so I thought well no, the alarm is not sounding. But I went out anyway and I’m really glad I did, because he was perfectly fine when he got out in the fresh air,” said Smith.

The Smith’s furnace was busted. And despite their CO detector not sounding, the furnace was leaking carbon monoxide.

“Furnace guy said we could have a low-level leak, that’s not high enough to register on the detector and who knows how long that may have been going on,” said Gary Smith. “Even though it’s not ready to kill you it’s still going to have effects on you, particularly dogs it affects more than people.”

If it wasn’t for Rascal sounding the alarm — with himself — who knows how much worse it could have been.

“He was the alarm so we are thankful for him for sounding that alarm because the other alarm did not sound,” Diane said.

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