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The Purina Animal Hall of Fame Awards for this year.

April 25th, 2006, 06:27 AM

Life-saving pooch honoured
Apr. 25, 2006. 12:31 AM

Less than 24 hours after Schmichael Giffin came to live with his adopted family, he saved them from a fiery death.
And for his heroic efforts, Schmichael, along with three other dogs, was inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame yesterday.
“He is a tonic for the family. He relaxes everyone around him,” said Dan Giffin, a restaurateur from Bath, Ont. near Kingston.
“These are the benefits of having an animal,” he added. “They have attributes we don’t even know about.”
Schmichael, who was bought at a pet store in Kingston, joined the Giffin family and their menagerie of two cats and another dog, Daisy, after Dan and his wife Tracie gave in last April to the requests of their three children ’s request for a puppy. in April last year.
Only twelve weeks old, at the time, the mixed breed Husky, Rottweiler and German shepherd puppy started crying loudly around 1:30 a.m.
Since The puppy was sleeping in a carrier in their bedroom and Dan, forced to get up to comfort Schmichael, As Dan checked on the agitated puppy, he saw that their barn was on fire. Due to strong winds, that night, the blaze quickly moved to the house. also caught fire.
“I got out with the kids and my wife but we couldn’t find the cats, so I propped the door open,” said Dan.
Both the cats and Daisy survived. No injuries were sustained and it was later discovered that a freezer had shorted out in the barn.
The Giffins have since rebuilt their home on the same land. The dogs will get new pens but will continue to sleep inside the house at night.
Dan is also opening his first restaurant called Schmichael’s Take Out Café. after a family vote. to name the restaurant registered a unanimous vote.
“You never know when your number’s up,” said Dan. “It is humbling and Schmichael made me realize that. Now I am following my dreams.”
Schmichael is a take on the names of the Great Dane Schmeichel, on the TV show Coronation Street, and Manchester United’s legendary goalkeeper in the ’90s, Peter Schmeichel.
Other dogs honoured yesterday were a 6-year-old Japanese Akita called Samurai from Winnipeg who was born blind. He saved the life of a neighbour on a winter night in November after she collapsed from a stroke on the sidewalk.
Teddy Bear, a Pomeranian puppy from Halifax was inducted for alerting his owner to the existence of a cancerous tumour in her right breast.
Teddy had been sniffing and pawing at her right side constantly till he came in contact with the area and she felt a sharp pain. On examination, she felt a lump, which was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer.
And Calgary police service dog, Odin, was also honoured for saving the life of Constable Bill Dodd by jumping up and disarming an armed assailant.
Cartoonist Lynn Johnston, whose strip For Better or For Worse featured Farley the English sheepdog, awarded the medals.
The program has recognized the bravery of 129 animals, including 106 dogs, 22 cats and even a horse, for more than 38 years.