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Local Dog Gets a Big Brand Honor

A special honor for a dog credited with alerting a family of carbon monoxide.

The Journal Sentinel reports that back in February, Nicole Siekert of Hartland felt lethargic and decided to lie down after her daughters went to school. The family’s dog, Abby, kept placing her snout underneath Nicole's chin as she drifted off. Finally, Nicole got up thinking Abby wanted to be let outside. But when Abby ran downstairs instead, Nicole followed her to the basement where Abby sat down right next to the sounding carbon monoxide detector.

"It was a loud noise but because I was so out of it, it didn't sound loud to me," Siekert said in an interview with the Sentinel. "That's when I got it. I was like, 'Oh, thank you, Abby. I love you.'"

The family was treated for carbon monoxide poisoning at Waukesha Memorial Hospital, where blood tests showed Nicole had very high levels and the girls had lower levels. Abby's veterinarian told Nicole to check the dog for pale gums, labored breathing and fatigue, but Abby showed no signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Siekerts adopted Abby when she was 8 months old from an animal rescue shelter in Illinois.

"We rescued her, but she rescued me," Nicole said.

The maker of Milk-Bone dog treats picked Abby this month for its second annual list of "Dogs Who Changed the World." A baseball card was made with a photo of a red bandanna-clad Abby, and she got a year's supply of treats for her canine courage.

Good dog.

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