There’s a reason why John Stamos got so emotional when saying goodbye to his best friend recently.
There’s also a reason why the entire country stopped and paid tribute to a very special dog back in June.
And the story below helps encapsulate these reasons…
Earlier this month in Baltimore, a woman named Erika Poremski ran to her car to quickly grab an item.
She was scarcely gone for more than a few minutes, but that was enough time for her home to become engulfed by flames.
Poremski was tragically alerted to this fact when she heard the screams of her six-month old daughter, Viviana.
In response, Erika and her neighbors desperately tried to climb the stairs to reach the child and also her six-year old dog, Polo.
But the fire was too powerful. She had to turn around after suffering burns to her hands and face.
"[My daughter] was up the stairs, but the fire [and] smoke was so heavy I couldn’t get past it," Poremski told a local news outlet.
"I kept running back out and back in, trying to get up there. Then, the door curling started falling and I couldn’t get back in…[I didn’t even] see all the skin was off my hand from grabbing the rail and it melted off."
Poremski called after Polo to escape the flames, but the dog did not response.
We later learned why.
According to firefighters who eventually arrived on the scene and rescued Viviana, they found Polo’s body inside the child’s room, draped over the baby.
"That way nothing got to her. She only had burns on her side because of it," Poremski said of her dog’s actions.
"He stayed with her the whole time in the bedroom and wouldn’t even come downstairs to get out the door."
Viviana has burns on about 19% of her body as a result of the fire, but at least she’s alive.
The same, sadly, cannot be said of Polo.
"He was my first baby before Viv. He was like my child,” said Erika of Polo. “He followed us everywhere."
Poremski is obviously beyond grateful that her child is alive.
But her beloved dog is dead and Viviana still needs a great deal of medical attention.
"He was everything to me along with my daughter," she says of Polo.
"I’m losing everything I love in the blink of an eye. I feel like I’m drowning and can’t get out."
A relative has set up a GoFundMe account for Viviana’s medical expenses. You can click on the preceding link to donate to it.