Elderly duo - man and dog - recognized for saving Novi woman's life

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A 14-year-old dog and his 81-year-old best friend were both honored by the Novi Fire Department for saving an elderly woman's life.

Ray Overall got Max 14 years when he was just a puppy. He says the terrier has been his best friend ever since and he's with him all the time. On March 21, it was no different. Ray was asleep in his apartment at Brookdale Senior Living in Novi.

At 1 a.m., a thump woke Max up and he started barking. He wouldn't stop, even when Ray told him to.

"I told him shut up - and he wouldn't shut up," Ray says.

So Ray got up and turned off the TV. That's when heard a woman's voice crying for help.

"Upstairs was the apartment above me. [She was saying] help, help, help me'. And I says, 'oh somebody fell out of bed'," Ray said.

For 25 years, Ray served as a volunteer firefighter in Walled Lake, so he knew what to do: call for help. The Novi Fire Department arrived and rushed his 87-year-old neighbor to the hospital.

Ray later found out that she almost died that night.

"What they told me [was] if she would have laid there until morning she probably wouldn't have made it," Ray said.

His neighbor is now back in her apartment thanks to Max and Ray, the most unlikely life-saving duo in Novi. She lived because Max wouldn't stop barking and Ray wouldn't ignore it.

On Tuesday, first responders from Novi policeand fire showed up at the complex again on Tuesday, this time to honor the two senior heros for their heroic actions.

"Thank you for your service not only as a firefighter but as a civilian - we're proud to call you a friend. Congratulations," Fire Chief David Malloy said.

Ray knows he helped save lives as a volunteer firefighter. At 81, it sure feels good to do it again.

"I did CPR on three people that made it," Ray said.

As for Max, he's getting all the perks a dog could ask for.

"Treats! He gets a lot of treats!"