Drew Smith nearly passed on adopting Carl, the little rescue dog who ended up saving his life.

 Smith saw Carl at the county of San Diego’s animal shelter in Bonita, California, but the dog had some dental issues and Smith was worried about the cost of potential dental bills.

The 41-year-old engineer said he needed a couple of days to make his decision, but in the end he adopted Carl. The dog returned the favor last month by alerting a sleeping Smith to a fire inside his home, likely saving the man’s life.

In a Thursday interview with ABC News, Smith , who lives in the North Park neighborhood in San Diego, said he was awakened by barking from the normally placid Carl.

“He’s not a dog that barks a lot ... so barking for him is kind of uncharacteristic,” Smith said. Carl had been acting strangely all day Jan. 21, and at about 1 a.m. the following night was when he woke Smith by barking and licking him in the face. Smith tried to go back to sleep but the dog was persistent.

At first he thought Carl just wanted to go to the bathroom, but when Smith turned on the lights he saw that smoke had filled his apartment. He says he never smelled it, although his throat hurt when he woke up.


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