(KXAN) — It all started with the Dunnam’s 8-year-old granddaughter Bella wanting a pig.
“I asked Bella directly what do you intend to do if you decide that you can’t deal with the pig anymore and she looked at me seriously and said, ‘Bacon,'” Chris Dunnam said as he recounted the story.
Fast forward a year later, Hamilton or, as she’s fondly known as, Hammy has made herself at home at the Dunnam’s Buda home. In September, Hammy celebrated her birthday.
“We had a cake for her and people came over,” Barbara Dunnam said.
That’s because Hammy is more than just a pet.
“She also alerts to my husband’s brain seizures,” Barbara said. “He has an inoperable brain tumor.”
Barbara said within the first four months of Hammy living with them she alerted them to one of Chris’ seizures.
On Monday, Nov. 12, Hammy alerted the family once again, but Chris wasn’t having a seizure.
“My husband had gotten up and was wandering around the house saying, ‘I smell something, I smell something.’ I said, ‘No, you don’t, it’s the brisket I made,'” Barbara said.
Chris decided to go outside and check around the house thinking maybe someone was lurking around their yard while Barbara got up and checked on Hammy who she said, “kept screaming and stopping at the laundry room.”
“That was unusual because normally [Hammy] will barge in since the door doesn’t close properly all the way,” she said.
That’s when Barbara decided to open the door leading to the laundry room and discovered it was full of smoke.
Meanwhile, Chris was outside and said, “I noticed there was a breaker that had been thrown and I couldn’t throw it back and that’s when it was time to call the fire department.”
The Dunnam’s quickly got themselves together, got their granddaughter and went outside.
“When we stepped outside, the Buda fire department was already there,” Barbara said. “They were that fast.”
Now, looking back almost two weeks later, the family said they can’t imagine where they would be without their piggy, Hammy.
“We realized that the pig wasn’t going to let us die in a house fire,” Chris said. “The fire marshals told us that another eight to nine minutes and it would have been all up in the attic and it would have been over in no time.”
Barbara said she’s just grateful and added, “this is a Thanksgiving to be thankful for.”