December 29, 2015 9:34 am
Updated: December 29, 2015 3:59 pm

Saskatchewan family credits dog with saving a life

A Saskatchewan family is crediting their dog with saving a life on Christmas Eve.

Santana Hawman / Supplied

A family from Vonda, Sask. is crediting their dog with saving a life. On Christmas Eve, Santana Hawman’s home burned to the ground.

She was with family having Christmas supper in Saskatoon when her husband’s mother Noreen called at about 9:45 p.m. CT and they went back home.

“We were probably still about 10 kilometres away from the house and we could just see the glow in the sky so at that point we already knew how big it was. It was just, we pulled up and half the house was already engulfed, Noreen had got out,” said Hawman.

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Noreen wasn’t feeling well that night and chose to stay back at the house. While she was sleeping on the couch, the building caught fire and the family dog Rex sprang into action.


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“Rex was barking frantically and she kind of just shrugged him off and I guess she said she rolled over, like turned in toward the couch and then he started biting on her and pulling her and he pulled her off the couch and he had her by the shoulder and he ripped her pants and she finally saw like what his problem was,” said Hawman.

Noreen was able to get out with Rex and a couple other pets.

“If it wasn’t for him, my husband’s mom wouldn’t have made it out,” Hawman said while fighting back tears.

“Most important, which is mom made it out thanks to our dog.”

The home was completely destroyed.

Today, the Hawman family is thankful everyone is safe.

“For as terrible as this situation, it’s probably the best outcome, she was the only person there but she made it out … could have been a lot worse, we could have lost a life,” said Hawman.


Surrounding communities has overwhelmingly responded with help and support after the family lost everything in the blaze.

“All we can do is be thankful our community and the community of Aberdeen, Vonda, Prud’homme, St. Denis, they’ve all stepped up,” said Hawman.

“We went from having literally nothing except the clothes on our backs to having an abundance of stuff that I now actually have to sort and donate back.”

She says her two daughters and son were happy to unwrap any donations given.

“The kids really do appreciate everything. I’ve never seen my kids so excited to see clothes before. I could give them clothes for Christmas and it’s ‘oh that’s pretty thanks mom’ but people walk in with bags and they’re excited to tear this bag open and see what clothes are in there,” said Hawman.

“It’s pretty intense and overwhelming in a great fashion and really happy there’s still good people out there and people will to help you out at any cost.”

Wendy Winiewski contributed to this story

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