His Name Is Smokey
The Toledo Fire Department just added it’s newest employee. He doesn’t go out to the fires, he just hangs out at Fire Station 5.
His job title is comfort dog, and the first responders don’t know how they got along without him before now.
Smokey is right at home at Station 5. After just a few weeks on the job, he is settling in to his new life. Rachel Doran is one of the firefighters who helped set up the pilot program, “He is the most laid-back, docile, cool dog in the world. The tones that alert us to a call don’t scare him. The lights and sirens don’t scare him. He brings a lot of joy and a lot of smiles to all of us. It is impossible to be in a bad mood when Smokey is around!”
In the short time he’s been on duty, Rachel says he’s had a major impact, “Everybody is happy. You come back from the tough runs, and it puts you in a good mood. There is nothing better than knowing there will be a little pup running out of the kitchen to greet you when you get back to the station.”
Smokey’s got it pretty good, all he does is hang around and make the firefighters feel good by letting them love on him. But life wasn’t always this good for Smokey. His first owner died of cancer and smokey was taken to a kill-shelter in Arizona. Luckily he was rescued from there and was looking for a new home when the firefighters started their search for a dog.
They mentioned it to Tracy Spader that runs a local non-profit organization, K9 Defender Fund, that provides animal oxygen masks to fire departments.
Once Tracy heard the department was looking for a comfort dog, she called a friend, and the plan was quickly in motion to get Smokey to Toledo, “And he just happened to be named Smokey already. When I heard that, I thought this has got to work, it was meant to be!”
Smokey is happy now, but he still has one struggle to overcome. While living in Arizona he was bitten by a tick. He contracted Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Rachel says the cost of diagnosis and treatment is in the thousands, “Everything connected to Smokey has been donated, that includes his adoption, his plane ride here and his food. We are not asking the fire department or the city administration for any money for him. However, we are draining our personal accounts a bit right now with all the vet bills Any donation would be greatly appreciated”.
But they all say it’s been worth every penny. They love having Smokey around.
Once again, all of Smokey’s bills have been paid for by donations and the firefighters themselves. If you’d like to help, we’ve posted a link to the K9 Defender Fund where there is an account for Smokey. Go to the donation section of the K9 Defender Fund page, where you will find a link to PayPal. Click on that link and when you make your donation, specify that it is to go to Smokey’s account. You can also mail a donation to the K9 Defender Fund 8893 Summerfield Road Lambertville, Michigan 48144. Write, “Smokey’s account” in the check memo line.
Check out the video below and please use the buttons on this page share this feel-good story with all your dog loving friends.
Article and video source: ABC Channel 13