Badly burned dog finally goes home 

With his burned paws protected by green and white socks, Bobby, a Jack Russell terrier, limped slightly as he made his way out of the Pets Unlimited veterinary clinic.

"Today feels like Christmas," Bobby’s owner, Janette Gerl, said of being reunited with her beloved pooch.

However, the man who risked his life to save Bobby has not been so lucky. MichaelKeenan, 43, is still in San Francisco General Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, suffering from second- and third-degree burns on 80 percent of his body.


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He was housesitting for Gerl on Feb. 6 when a fire erupted at Gerl’s Bonita Street residence. Although Keenan initially escaped the fire, he ran back inside the complex to save Bobby.

"I’m sad Michael can’t be here today. What he did is a kind of selfless heroism you don’t see every day — but [when he is out of the hospital], it is going to be the greatest reunion of all time," Gerl said.

Friends and family who have been taking care of Keenan say he has shown signs of progress and hope he will be able to return home within 10 weeks or so.

"I am hopeful for Michael. He is going to survive, he’s a hero and he’s already proven that once before," said Keenan’s friend Brad Black, who has taken care of him in the hospital since the night of the fire.

Keenan jumped into Bay waters near Berkeley in 2001, rescuing a woman whose Jeep had submerged into the water after an accident.

eeconomides@examiner.com

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