Dog rescued owner when Minnesota home was filled with natural gas – Duluth News Tribune

ROCHESTER, Minnesota — Most dog owners would prefer their pooch not to wake them up around 3 a.m

Greg Dison didn’t mind when Ellie, his Maltese-Yorkshire Terrier mix, did in late November.

He’s probably alive today because Ellie acted so quickly.

“My little Ellie saved my life,” said the Rochester, Minnesota man.

The 8-pound dog woke Dison just before 3am on November 20, 2022, barking and jumping up and around his head while he slept.

At first he was dazed and unnerved by the dog’s antics. Then he smelled like rotten eggs.

Dison forced himself to wake up fearing his home had a gas leak. He moved to get out of bed.

“I grabbed my phone and as soon as my feet hit the ground I fell,” he said. Dison said he couldn’t stand and was disoriented but had the presence of mind to call 911.

Ellie poses for a photo in Rochester on Wednesday January 11, 2023. Ellie recently alerted her owner Greg Dison to a gas leak in the house while he was sleeping, likely saving his life.

Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

According to the Rochester Fire Department, the call came in at 2:48 a.m. about a gas leak at his home on Fox Pointe Lane Southwest. Firefighters found Dison on the floor near his bedroom. They helped him to a chair, which they placed in front of the open front door to give him some fresh air.

His house was filled with natural gas. Firefighters opened his front and rear double doors to ventilate his home. Minnesota Energy responded and found that a line to Dison’s gas fireplace had been accidentally opened.

Dison said he had sent people to his home to help him with some work in his downstairs boiler room. It appeared that the pipe to the chimney had accidentally been knocked open and gas had leaked into the house.

Dison said he apologized to firefighters for being “a baby about it,” he said.

They told him it was a good thing he called and was immediately woken up because the gas leak could have been fatal.

Three-year-old Ellie probably saved his life.

Ellie, short for Eleanor, has been Dison’s companion since his older dogs Levi and Calvin Klein both died in their teens. One of them died just last fall, he said.

Gregory Dison
Greg Dison gives his dog Ellie a treat on Wednesday 11th January 2023 in Rochester. Ellie recently alerted Dison to a gas leak in the house while he slept, probably saving his life.

Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

“Ellie was kind of lost without[Levi],” he said. “I think we kind of comforted each other.”

Dison said even before they lost the older dog, Ellie was a source of comfort. He named her after spying on a headstone in Oakwood Cemetery for a 9-month-old child named Eleanor who died in the 1800s. Dison said he lost his son to sudden infant death syndrome when he was just under 4 months old. For over two centuries, Dison said he felt a deep kinship with Eleanor’s parents for their loss. He decided to name his new puppy after the infant.

“She really comforts me,” he said.

Gregory Dison
Greg Dison gives his dog Ellie a treat on Wednesday 11th January 2023 in Rochester. Ellie recently alerted Greg to a gas leak in the house while he was sleeping which probably saved his life.

Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Gregory Dison
Ellie poses for a photo in her owner Greg Dison’s coat on Wednesday January 11, 2023 in Rochester. Ellie recently alerted Dison to a gas leak in the house while he slept, probably saving his life.

Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Gregory Dison
Greg Dison and his dog Ellie on Wednesday 11 January 2023 in Rochester. Ellie recently alerted Dison to a gas leak in the house while he slept, probably saving his life.

Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin



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