I thought we’d start some feel-good holiday programming with a tale of a dog owner who saved his retriever’s life — then the retriever saved a life right back.

According to this North Carolina News & Observer story, state resident Peter Maynard was living in Massachusetts in 2006, when his retriever, Clyde, started sneezing blood. The vet couldn’t figure out what was wrong, and Maynard stayed home with his ailing dog while relatives brought him food. When he later moved to North Carolina, doctors there found a tumor in Clyde’s nose and gave him a few months to live. But Maynard was willing to do whatever it took to help his dog, and had doctors administer a round of radiation. Clyde responded well to the treatment and seemed to pull through.

Fast forward to last October, when Maynard’s partner Gloria Mitchell was home alone and asleep with a cold when the recovered Clyde jumped into bed to wake her up. Despite her groggy objections, the dog forced her out of bed, at which point she realized she wasn’t groggy from a cold, but from smoke coming from a fire under the house.

Since rescuing Mitchell, Clyde has again begun sneezing blood and is undergoing another round of radiation. Maynard says he’s spent $10,000 on treatments for Clyde, but he feels the sacrifice is more than worth it.

I don’t own a dog (unfortunately!), and I don’t have $10,000 to spend on one if I did. But I can certainly understand the motivation to do anything in your power to aid an ailing pet — I’m sure many of us do. -K.H.