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Service dog shields owner from gas leak, seeks help - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Service dog shields owner from gas leak, seeks help

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CANON CITY -

A Canon City man says he's lucky to be alive, thanks to his service dog's very keen sense of smell and pretty incredible intuition.

Kevin Johnson will be the first to tell you he's a very proud dog dad--showing News5 a "wall of fame" for his service dog, 10-year-old Reese's.

"I don't have kids so I'm so proud of her. I have to brag about her."

Reese's was even inducted into the 2011 Iowa Hall of Heroes.

Johnson says over the years, his service dog has touched a lot of people.

"They'll come up to me 7 years later.  They won't remember my name but [they'll say] 'aren't you the one with the dog?'  and 'that dog changed my life.'

But just last week, he says Reese's saved his.

"She detected a gas leak--a pretty good-sized gas leak," he recalled.

Johnson says for two straight days, Reese's refused to let him go into his garage.

The leak, as it turned out, was in the alley right behind it--but because of sinus issues, Johnson couldn't smell it.

On the second day, he grew suspicious... and by chance, saw an Atmos gas truck drive by.

"I actually chased him down," he told News5.

He says Reese's took over from there, and it resembled a scene from "Lassie."

"She ran up to him and was barking the whole time, taking him over to the leak--just really proud of herself."

Johnson says seven trucks were later sent in to fix the leak before anyone was hurt.

"I just got light switches in there 2 weeks ago.  If I would hit one of those light switches--kaboom."

As the interview wrapped up, Reese's moved over to Johnson's side--even putting her front paws up on his lap with his permission.

She's unaware that moments like these are still possible because of her heroic actions last week--because for her, it's just another day on the job.

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