The family home wasn’t very big, and the dog had already grown much larger than they expected. So the family had asked themselves, was it fair to keep him? But this thought was no doubt furthest from Patch’s human’s mind when she lay in the bath and felt the dog’s teeth close on her arm. Because suddenly she realized why – and she had to get out of the house quickly.
It’s fair to say, the Davis family didn’t plan to bring a dog into their lives; it was very much an impulse decision. However, when they heard about Patch, they couldn’t resist offering him a home with them in Vancouver, Washington. That’s because Patch didn’t have the most successful start to family life.
Indeed, poor Patch had a home before, but for unspecified reasons, his previous owner couldn’t keep him. When Richard and Nola Davis heard about the pup, then, they decided to take him in. In fact, they thought he would make a great gift for their two children.
And they were right: the kids – Clara and Andrew – didn’t expect their parents to come home with a puppy. Indeed, the new addition to the Davis family was a complete surprise. Richard later described their reactions on the documentary Beyond Chance, which aired on the Zone Reality TV channel.
“We tricked them, we had a dog hidden in the back seat,” he explained. “They couldn’t see it, and they were looking in there [saying], ‘What is it? What is it?’ And when they saw it, they were just jumping for joy.”
Yes, the kids were ecstatic. “I just saw it, and I started crying, because I was so excited,” Clara remembered. And her brother, Andrew, was equally pleased. Not only did the Davises get a new addition to the family, then, but the puppy called Patch also got a second chance at a forever home.
And Patch was generally a well-behaved dog, except when it came to bath time. In fact, for some unknown reason, the dog didn’t like water at all, and he avoided the bathroom like the plague. There was, however, one other problem that troubled Richard and Nola.
And that was because Patch was growing larger than the Davis parents expected. “As Patch started to grow, we realized that maybe we had made a mistake,” Nola said. “He was going to be a big dog, and the house was an awful small house.”
Sadly, this meant that there were talks of having to find Patch a new home for the third time in his life. But the decision divided the Davis family. The children, in particular, loved the dog and didn’t accept the problem. And despite the space issues, Andrew refused to give Patch up.
Andrew told Beyond Chance, “I said no. I said, ‘I didn’t care; I would build the fence [myself],’ or something.” It was a tough call to make, but the young boy was firm in his decision. And as a result, the family held off on a conclusion to their canine problem for a while longer.
But it was during this tumultuous time that Patch did something that shocked the entire family. It happened when Nola was spending some time to herself, perhaps pondering over the Patch puzzle. It was her and Richard’s wedding anniversary, though, so she was treating herself.
“I was taking a bubble bath and I had my radio up really loud,” she told Beyond Chance. So it was no surprise, then, that Nola hadn’t noticed Patch. But when she did, his presence caused her to jump. Indeed, there was something strange and quite disconcerting about the whole situation.
“I jumped because [Patch] was in the bathroom, and he does not like the bathroom,” Nola remembered. And not only was Patch’s entrance to his most dreaded place unusual, but so was his behavior. He closed his mouth around Nola’s wrist, as if he was biting her.
“He just grabbed my wrist and started pulling me,” Nola explained. Scared now, she hurriedly got out of the tub. Then she pulled on a bath robe to shoo Patch out of the room. But when she opened the door, her jaw dropped: she barely recognized what she was stepping into.
“When I opened up the bathroom door, the house was already engulfed in flames,” Nola said. “[It was] so bad that they just burst through the bathroom.” Patch had bravely conquered his fear of water to warn his mommy that she was in grave danger.
And that was just the beginning of Patch’s bravery in the flames. Yes, the dog also led Nola out of the burning house. “He held onto me and then he would turn and make sure that I ran into his back end before he would go any further,” she recalled.
But when the pair finally made it to the porch, there was more danger waiting. This time, the threat came from the Davises’ car. It was parked close to the fire, and it could have exploded at any moment. But when Nola attempted to go back into the fire to get her car keys, Patch intervened.
He growled and forced Nola off the porch. And he was just on time, too. The car exploded shortly afterward, further damaging the house. “By the time [we both] got off the porch, the windows burst out of the house,” Nola described. “And so [Patch] saved me twice.”
Later, it emerged that an electrical short circuit had caused the fire, which took every material possession the Davises had. However, thanks to Patch, it didn’t take away Nola’s life. And after his heroic rescue, there was no way the family could give up their furbaby. So together, they all moved to another house in Montana the following year.
And they made absolutely sure that this house had enough room for Patch. “He saved [my mom’s] life, so… you can’t really repay him for that,” Andrew concluded. But even so, Patch’s bravery was officially recognized by the American Red Cross. They awarded him with a medal, befitting the true hero that he was.