"Instinct just kicked in. I just grabbed that leash," explains 27-year-old Johnny Mathis from Houston, Texas.
Not all heroes wear capes. In fact, some are just in the right place at the right time.
Such was the case for 27-year-old Johnny Mathis, a man in Houston, Texas, who recently saved a neighbor's dog from what could have been a fatal elevator accident in their apartment complex.
In the 38-second video that was captured by his building's security cameras and posted to Twitter by Mathis, he's seen arriving from work and parking his car in the complex's underground garage. He then took the elevator to the ground floor, where he lives. Upon exiting the elevator, he crossed paths with a woman and her Pomeranian, who was on a leash.
While the woman entered the elevator before its doors closed, the dog was still on the other side. Mathis was then seen leaping back to pick up the dog and separate it from its leash.
"When she got on, I was looking at the dog because it was a cute dog," he told CNN. "I noticed the leash was kinda long but I didn't think it wasn't going to make it on the elevator or anything."
When he noticed the Pomeranian didn't make the elevator, Mathis said he yelled back to the woman, "Hey, your dog!"
"Instinct just kicked in. I just grabbed that leash," he explained. "There was so much fur. That's why it took me a bit to get that lever off of the collar, and when I did, I let go, you could see that leash just shoot off to the top of the elevator."
Mathis said he could hear the dog's owner frantically crying from inside the elevator, so he tried his best to bang on the doors to let her know her pooch was safe.
"She thought the worse, that the dog had died," he said, adding that when they eventually reunited on the ground floor, the woman -- who he believes just moved into the building -- was inconsolable.
"I think she just said 'thank you' and we hugged, but she was just so overcome with emotion," he said.
The day after the incident, Mathis went to the leasing office and explained the situation. He said the leasing agents and office managers were in disbelief that the dog made it out safely.
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