DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Every member of the Buddrus family said they adore their beautiful and busy German Shepherd. Named Sasha, one of her favorite things is going for a ride.  But last week getting inside the family’s sweltering SUV almost killed her.

“I came home and the car door was open,” pet owner Jim Buddrus said. “I shut the car door and pulled my car in … we didn’t know Sasha was in the car.”

The family left in a different car to run errands. More than an hour had passed, when the family returned and noticed Sasha was missing. They whistled for her–until they heard a faint bark.

“When I opened the back door she was laying there passed out,” Buddrus said. “I didn’t know what to do.”

With Sasha nearly lifeless, Buddrus carried her and jumped into the family pool.

They rushed Sasha to an emergency clinic where she was placed in an oxygen crate and given an IV. She would have to undergo vigorous treatment.

“She was in critical, critical shape with ultra high body temperatures,” said Dr. Karen Fling of Eastlake Veterinary Hospital.

Fling helped nurse Sasha back to good health and said she suffered a heat stroke.

“We have seen a lot of heat stroke issues this summer, in fact, I’d say more than we’ve seen in previous summers all together,” said Fling.

Sasha’s incident was a fluke accident, but Fling said pets are suffering heat strokes from simple walks and even brief playtimes.

Fling added that pavement heat is another big concern.

“Even when the sun is down, there is so much heat radiating up off of the pavement. You can even see the heat waves coming off those ground surfaces.”

The Buddrus family said they feel fortunate they didn’t lose one of their family members and hope other pet owners will check and double-check when it comes to this heat.

“It was heartbreaking. I couldn’t believe it had happened,” said Buddrus. “What I do now is make sure we know where she is at all times.”