DAVENPORT - You can bet when you see Lauren Wood, her dog Carl won't be too far from her side.
"He`s got a really funny personality," said Wood.
She found the now seven-year-old Shih Tzu-Yorkie mix on a Craigslist ad.
"I guess they found him in a cornfield," said Wood.
Carl was found abandoned with matted fur and malnourished, you could say Wood saved him.
However, Wood says its Carl who saved her, "I feel like he saved me more than I saved him."
Six years ago, Wood says she had hit a low point in her life. Recently diagnosed with a mental illness, she had lost her home, her job and most of all hope.
"Just didn`t have a lot of confidence that I was ever going to get back to normal," said Wood.
Unexpectedly, it would be Carl who would help Wood get back on her feet.
"Just having that motivation to get up and know that I had to take care of him you know. If I can take care of him, obviously, I need to take care of myself so I can take care of him.'
Wood started taking her prescribed medications and her symptoms started going away. She found another job and another home.
"I honestly can`t imagine where my life would be if it weren`t for him," said Wood.
Wood nominated Carl for the American Humane Society's Emerging Hero Award.
"I honestly feel like he helped save my life," said Wood.
Even though Carl didn't make it to the semi-finals of the competition, in Wood's eyes, he's the definition of a hero, "He`s definitely a hero, I mean he won the grand prize in my mind."
Wood says she is now medication and symptom free.