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Dog who helped owner escape fire is honored by Islip Town

Carol Swinson and her dog Bear spend time

Carol Swinson and her dog Bear spend time together near her home in Brentwood. Bear woke Swinson up, alerting her of a home fire. "This dog saved my life," Swinson said. (July 17, 2013) Read the story. Credit: Chris Ware

Bear, a former shelter dog who rose to hero status after he alerted his new owner to a fire in her Brentwood home, was honored for his act at Islip Town Hall this week.

The 3-year-old, 145-pound Neapolitan mastiff/Cane Corso mix was given the “key to the town,” a 12-inch giant dog cookie shaped like a key, awarded to him by town board members Trish Bergin Weichbrodt and Steve Flotteron on Monday.

Brentwood resident Carolyn Swinson adopted Bear from the Islip Animal Shelter and Adopt-A-Pet Center two weeks before the fire on July 17. As the blaze erupted in her home in the middle of the night, Bear awoke Swinson by jumping on her bed and panting in her face. Swinson was able to escape with the dog and her 9-year-old grandson, D.J. There were no injuries in the fire.

Bear was also treated to two baskets of toys, donated by residents and collected by the animal shelter, where Bear lived for two months after being found wandering the streets of Oakdale in May.

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