A rescue dog turned the tables and saved his owner from a house fire just months after he was nearly passed over at the pound.
Drew Smith went home without adopting 4-year-old spaniel mix Carl back in October before finally going back to the San Diego County shelter the next day and taking the pooch home.
On January 21, Carl returned the favor that almost never was.
Smith told 10 News that Carl had been acting strangely all day and didn't want to come inside after his walk.
Hours later, Smith awoke to the normally silent Carl barking and licking his face.
"He was licking me and barking...I was kind of like, 'Oh, my throat really hurts.' So I grabbed some water off my nightstand and took a drink," Smith said.
But then, the 41-year-old engineer smelled smoke and realized he needed to get out of the apartment.
Smith later learned that there had been a fire smoldering in the walls, possibly for days, and only Carl knew it.
Earlier in the day, Smith told ABC News his dog walker mentioned that Carl was behaving strangely and reluctant to go inside the apartment.
Carl showed up to the county shelter as a stray Oct. 1 suffering from some dental issues that Smith later feared would become a burden financially.
Smith left the shelter without adopting Carl. However, after a sleepless night, he returned to the shelter and adopted the dog.
"I’m glad that I saw through what physical flaws he may have had," Smith said.