'Sweet, sweet dog': Auggie recovering after rescue by Swansea firefighters

News-DemocratJune 26, 2013 

Auggie, the yellow Labrador retriever pulled out of a fire and saved by Swansea firefighters, is recovering at the Lashley Animal Hospital in Swansea.

"Auggie seems to be doing quite well," said veterinarian Dr. David E. Lashley. "He is an extremely sweet, gentle, obedient dog. He's still having some lung problems from breathing the smoke and tar in the burning house, he's coughing up soot and dark pigment but his lungs are holding. We always worry about lungs getting filled with fluids and developing pneumonia."

The dog was found unresponsive on a bathroom floor where he was confined when firefighters searched the home at 4068 Bassen Drive just after 2 a.m. Tuesday. Firefighters arrived at the two-story home to find heavy smoke and visible flames on the first floor. No one but Auggie was home at the time of the fire, according to Swansea Fire Chief John McGuire.

The Illinois State Fire Marshal Arson Division and the Swansea Police Department are investigating the cause of the fire. McGuire said the fire had multiple points of origin and is considered suspicious.

Lashley expects Auggie to remain at the clinic for a couple of days to assure he continues to heal. The dog is on medication and antibiotics to reduce possible infection in his lungs and help heal damage.

"At this point, we are very optimistic about his recovery," Lashley said. "He's a sweet, sweet dog and we are very pleased with his progress."

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