Ben Heinrichs' father said "Maybe it was some divine intervention.", but when Ben needed help it was was a buddy who came to the rescue. Buddy is the name of his German shepherd dog who led a lost and confused State Trooper to the scene of a fire at the Heinrichs' family home. Heinrichs said he was working on parts for his truck when a spark hit some gasoline and ignited, lighting his clothes blaze. The 23-year-old man ran outside to stomp out the flames by rolling in the snow, closing the door to keep the blaze from spreading.
Heinrichs then realized Buddy was still inside the burning building and let the dog out. As the dog emerged Heinrichs said "We've got to get some help." At that point Buddy, who is described as very shy, dashed off through the woods. Heinrichs thought he was looking for a place to hide.
Instead, Buddy ran to a nearby road where AST Trooper Terrence Shanagan was lost. Shanigan, whose global positioning device had failed while responding to a call about the fire was about to make a wrong turn when he saw a shadow up the road. His vehicle lights caught Buddy at an intersection, and the dog eyed the trooper and began running down a side road. "He wasn't running from me, but was leading me," he said. "I just felt like I was being led ... it's just one of those things that we're thinking on the same page for that brief moment."
Dashcam video recorded by the trooper shows Buddy occasionally looking back at the patrol car as he raced ahead, galloping around three turns before arriving in front of the blaze, which was very close to the Heinrichs' home. From there, the trooper guided firefighters to the scene.
AST recognized Buddy in a ceremony in Anchorage yesterday. Meanwhile, here is some of the video captured by trooper Shanagan.