A wagging tail is a sight Vernon and Mary Dede have been waiting to see.
Their dog, a four year old labrador-Great Dane mix, was injured in a fire at the Dede's Kwik Kar Lube and Tune in Bedford last week. After being rescued by firefighters and treated by a vet, Jake the dog has returned home.
"Very pleased," said Vernon Dede, of his dog's return home. "It's a huge load off both of our minds (to have him home). I think he's happier. We're happier."
Jake inhaled a lot of smoke in Tuesday's fire. Despite life-saving efforts by firefighters, for a while the Dedes weren't sure Jake was going to be able to hang on.
Jake looks great. He wasn't burned, but he's still got a ways to go on his road to recovery. He's on antibiotics, pain killers and has to go to the vet twice a day for breathing treatments, but at least he's home.
"When he came home he went right back to his dog kennel, which is his safe place, and we fixed him dinner and he ate dinner right away which was a great sign," said Mary Dede. "And we gave him his medicine and he went back to bed and just having him there in the house just made everything kind of right again."
The Dedes weren't looking for a dog when Jake found the Dedes four years ago. Just as they son was heading off to college, Jake the puppy showed up under Vernon's car at a lakehouse.
Vernon brought him home and Jake became a family member instantly. He said he often took Jake to work with him and that his dog was such a common fixture at the shop that he built a free dog park next door, not only for Jake, but for other dogs as well.
Dede said he is grateful for the support he has received not only from firefighters, but from customers who learned of Jake's injury in the fire.
"I really want to thank the fire department for saving my dog," said Vernon Dede earlier in the week. "The overwhelming response to his well being just takes my breath away."