Heat's off now, pooch, but it was close

STIFF, unresponsive and gasping for breath, it looked like the end was near for Mandy.

It was only when she saw her best friend, Bianca Otley, that she raised her head and, with the help of paramedic Sandy Macken, began fighting for life.

Mandy is a four-year-old pure-bred greyhound who was rescued from a futon factory fire in Marrickville and resuscitated by paramedics after 45 minutes.

Firefighters found Mandy lying under a bed in a dark, smoke-filled room as the Fantasy Futon factory burnt down.

Ms Otley, who dropped Mandy off with friends at the factory while she went to work nearby, raced to the fire to get Mandy, a dog she rescued from a greyhound shelter a year ago.

''My first sight was Sandy with her and I saw they were treating her like she was a person, I was so grateful,'' Ms Otley said.

''She sat up and acknowledged I was there. It was like she was saying 'I'm OK, mum'.''

Ms Macken said saving Mandy was ''just part of the job''.

"All creatures are worthy of great respect and deserve the greatest of care.

"I think that's really special."

Happily walking and rubbing her snout on the grass yesterday, the only sign of Mandy's trauma was a cough and a pink bandage on her leg.

Vets at Sydney University's Veterinary Teaching Hospital treated Mandy free of charge, covered by money from their Animals In Need community fundraising program.

Many of Ms Otley's possessions were destroyed in the fire at the two-storey factory, where she had a room she sometimes stayed, but she was not worried about what was lost.

"She is my life and my world and thanks to Sandy, I still have her."

The story Heat's off now, pooch, but it was close first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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