He's numero uno for this family.
Byline: Will Metcalfe Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
IT'S often said that a dog is a man's best friend - but this retired greyhound has done more than most to earn the love of his family.
Five-year-old former racing dog Uno saved the lives of his owner and her four sons after a fire broke out in their home.
The pet's frantic barking woke up his owner Clare Whiteford after the freezer burst into flames in the early hours.
And thanks to his devotion Clare, as well as 12-year-old Kieran, eightyear-old Paddy and threeyear-old Aiden, all managed to get out of the house safely. The 32-year-old, of Rosehip Court, Washington, said: "Uno was bark-ton, barking in my face at 4am, he was running across the landing to the boys room.
to "I thought he must have wanted to go outside but as I walked downstairs he continued to bark at me and that's when I saw that the freezer was on fire.
"I turned off the switches in the fuse box, called the fire brigade and we got out."
Fire crews arrived to put out the flames, and told the family they had a lucky escape from the earlymorning blaze.
as "The fire investigator told us Uno saved our lives," Claire added.
of Greyhound Uno, who joined their family last August, has staggered Clare by his bravery.
She said: "Greyhounds are not trained for anything but racing so they just don't know danger - all he's known is racing.
"For him to come and get four people out of the house, I just don't have words for it."
Now, Uno has been honoured with a trophy from Prince Bishop Veterinary Surgery, in Durham for his heroics.
And self-confessed dog lover Clare said the family's four-legged friend has been a very pampered pooch since the dramatic rescue.
"We've treated him "We've treated him every day since, he's spoiled now," she said.
Despite owning a range of different dog breeds in ent dog breeds in the past, Claire said that after Uno she wouldn't choose anything except a greyhound.
Her sons were also smitten with the pet as soon as he arrived, she said.
She added: "I've just no words to describe how I feel. He is our hero.
"It was love at first sight when I first saw him I knew I had to have him.
"If I was to say to people get a rescue dog I would just say consider a greyhound now, without a hound shadow of a doubt.
"We're devoted to him."
Hero Dog Uno with owner Clare Whiteford |and children Kieran, Paddy and Taylor