The little Russell terrier mix helped his humans avoid getting caught in a nasty accident.
terrier mix portrait indoors
Credit: Joy Hodgson / EyeEm

When it comes to adopted dogs and cats from shelters and rescue organizations, we often hear the saying, "who rescued who?" since our pets have such a positive impact on our lives. Well, in some cases—like a cat who alerted her new family to a gas leak, or the German shepherd who called for help after her owner had a stroke—it can literally be true.

These hero pets are some pretty incredible animals, who do amazing things to keep their humans out of harm's way. And in the case of one very special rescue dog named Luke, some of the most heroic deeds can even come in tiny, fluffy little packages!

Mike and Colleen Petroski of Kingston, Penn. adopted the five-year-old Russell terrier mix two years ago, when the little fellow was in pretty rough shape. In an interview with WBRE/WYOU TV, the Petroskis say Luke was malnourished when they adopted him, with teeth that had either become loose or completely rotted. The couple took the little dog in, showered him with love, and he's become a happy, healthy little dog who enjoys a sweet treat with his humans now and then.

Recently, Luke and the Petroski fam were waiting in line at Josie's Frozen Custard, where the pupster is a fan of the occasional plain vanilla cone. It was while in line for their tasty treat that Luke went from family companion to full-fledged hero.

On April 6, the family had walked up to Josie's and were standing in line when an SUV collided with a car on the street next to the shop. The Petroskis had their backs to the street, facing the custard shop, and hadn't yet reacted to the noise, so they didn't see the SUV that had hopped the curb and was barreling towards them. Fluffy little Luke, however, did see what was happening—and began tugging hard at his leash to pull the couple out of harm's way.

As Mike Petroski told the news station in what's likely the understatement of the year, "Probably we would have been severely injured or possibly, you know, death."

We're glad to report that the Petroskis and Luke avoided both severe injury and death. The family is safe and sound—and have little Luke to thank for it.

Dog and cat lovers are always amazed at the lengths our animal companions will go to in order to protect us from harm. It's hard not to get sentimental over animals who put themselves in harm's way and even put their lives on the line to protect their human families. We can imagine Petroskis are incredibly relieved that no harm came to themselves or Luke. And now, every time they take a walk for their frozen custard treats, they'll be reminded of the time that their little rescue dog rescued them back.

"I'm very proud of Luke. I think he's a very good dog. I think he's very observant. And I think he has a very good spirit. He has a good heart," Colleen told the news station.

"You know," Mike added, "I think he's a keeper."