Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 • Hero dog prevents gas disaster

Publisher’s note: This story is reprinted from the Tuesday, Feb. 24 edition of the Lassen County Times.

Henry Armetta poses with his pup, Toby, after the friendly canine saved his owner and their home.

After his owner fell asleep with a pot on the stove, wire haired mixed terrier Toby ensured his owner was safe.

On Monday, Feb. 16, local Henry Armetta, 89, fell asleep on the couch with his hearing aids out and a pot of wheat berry boiling on the stove while his wife was out shopping.

According to Armetta, while he was asleep the pot was making noise and boiling over on the stove.

Toby, realizing something was off, came to the living room barking, would jump on Armetta’s lap, and run back into the kitchen. He repeated the frantic barking three times until Armetta went into the kitchen.

The owner said he followed Toby into the kitchen just as the lid flew off the top and water put out the gas light, leaving the gas fumes to escape.

Armetta said he was able to turn off the gas quickly “and avoid certain disaster.”

“Toby is indeed a hero dog,” said Armetta. “He saved not only my life … but probably this home.”

Armetta added he would not have been able to smell the gas if the dog had not woken him up.

Toby, who is believed to be just younger than 2 years old, was adopted just three months prior by the Armetta’s from the Reno Humane Society.

Armetta said he and his wife saw Toby at the shelter and felt the dog needed a home since it was only about five pounds.

Now, the couple adores the pup.

“If he was my own son, I could not treat him any better … he is such a loved dog,” said Armetta.