This week, the city of Meridian award its Hometown Hero award to a dog named Jaxson — the first time an animal received the award.
The 11-year-old pug is credited for saving his family’s house from burning down by barking with unusual urgency to alert his owners, Todd Lavoie and Mikaela Sebree, to a sparking outlet and power strip. The sparking did cause a fire, but Lavoie was able to quickly knock it down with a fire extinguisher and shut the power off.
So what’s Meridian Hero Dog’s story? Here are five things you didn’t know about Jaxson.
1. He conquered his fear of heights last summer. Jaxson had to ride a chairlift to get to his owners’ wedding at the top of Brundage in McCall. The night of the rehearsal, he howled the whole way up the mountain. The next day, he was perfectly calm.
2. This real-life “Lassie” is a certified therapy dog. He was certified by the Alliance of Therapy Dogs in July of 2016. Sebree, a pediatric neuropsychologist at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital, hopes Jaxson will get a chance to work with patients at the hospital. He’s in the process of completing volunteer training at St. Luke’s and is currently caring for a sick family member. Jaxson really loves people and seeks out the two-legged visitors at the dog park.
3. He likes dressing up. Bow ties, football jerseys (University of Texas Longhorns) and fire hats. You name it — he wears it with style. His other favorite things: snuggling, yak milk dog chews, licking Lavoie’s bald head and hanging with his brother, Rykker. The pug pair will be Yoda and Darth Vader for Halloween this year.
4. He’s not chatty. Jaxson is a pug of few(er) words — so that’s part of why his owners knew something was wrong the night of the fire. That fire was no joke. Here’s what the outlet and wall looked like after the fire.
5. He’s 24 pounds of snaggle-toothed adorable. “It’s impossible to have a bad day because he just makes you smile,” Sebree said.