Kenai, 14 year old Bernese Mountain dog mix and now heroWhat started out as a friends and family get away weekend could have ended in tragedy for the Kraig family and friends who were gathered for an enjoyable weekend at the Kraig’s family’s mountain getaway on the Western Slope in CO.

The Kraig family; husband and wife and their two children along with five adult friends and four dogs, were all sleeping in the three-story home when the threat became apparent, to Kenai, one of the dogs that was among the party.

“We’re sure glad she was there,” Kraig said of Kenai, a friend’s dog. “I truly believe that if it weren’t for Kenai, we wouldn’t all be here today.”

Kenai, a 14-year-old Bernese Mountain dog mix belongs to Todd Smarr and Michelle Sewald, two of the family friends staying at the home.  They, along with another friend, were sleeping in the basement when about 4 am Kenai started barking and whining.

Smarr woke up first to comfort Kenai, then the others woke up.  They all quickly realized they weren’t feeling well.

It didn’t take long to realize exactly what the threat was, carbon monoxide poisoning, thanks to much recent media coverage of some fatal cases earlier this year in CO.

Earlier that evening they had heated some pizza in the propane oven and investigators said that’s where the leak was.

Everyone managed to get out of the house and into the fresh air.  Two people were taken by helicopter to the hospital, treated and released and everyone is expected to be just fine.

“I’ve heard so many stories about carbon-monoxide poisoning, where people don’t realize it’s happening, and they never awake,” Smarr said. “If I hadn’t heard Kenai in trouble, we would have been in that same situation. I don’t think we would have woke up.”

The home has since had carbon monoxide detectors installed.

To most of us, our dogs are heroes everyday in one way or another, sometimes just by being our constant companions but then there are time like this when they are truly heroes of the first rank.  Kudos Kenai!!

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