Sign In

Firefighters Get Comfort

September 18, 2020

The wildfires ravaging the West Coast are absolutely devastating and citizens of California, Oregon, and Washington are looking at another nearly two months of fire season. This is hard on the people who live here but especially hard on the firefighters who work round the clock to keep everyone safe. So who comforts the firemen and women? Kerith the golden retriever, that’s who.

Heidi tells Popsugar she and Kerith have spent some time visiting first responders at the Woodward Fire base camp in Marin County and the Creek Fire base camp in Fresno County. Heidi says they’ll walk up and down the row of fire trucks, greeting anyone who needs some comfort. “[Kerith will] sit closely to the individual, sometimes sit on their feet and lean into their body in a way that says, ‘I am here for you as long as you need me,’” Heidi shared.

Kerith is becoming such a beloved fixture around the base camps and firehouses that Heidi shared on Instagram how one San Francisco firefighter reacted when they saw Kerith.

“Yesterday when we saw you everyone was so excited I almost had to stop the truck and turn around so we could play with Kerith,” Heidi says the firefighter told her. “[Kerith] provides unconditional love and instant stress relief to first responders,” Heidi writes on their GoFundMe. “She forms bonds with the firefighters by simply being herself: she greets with playful wiggles, adoring eye contact, and makes each person she meets feel important, special, and loved. The experience that Kerith is able to provide can be invaluable to individuals suffering from PTSD.” “Therapy dogs are helping change the stigma around mental health for first responders. Studies have shown that interaction with therapy dogs can provide both mental and physical health benefits,” Heidi shared online. I can’t speak on behalf of the firemen and their reaction to meeting Kerith, but one time I hugged a Great Pyrenees therapy dog in the lobby of a hospital and it was honestly one of the most memorable days of my life. You can donate to Heidi and Kerith’s GoFundMe page to support their goal of spending more time at the Marin County Fire Department and amongst the NorCal base camps throughout fire season.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more

    The Right Rescue Dog

    If your New Year’s resolution is to add a canine family member, good for you. Somewhere out there is the perfect puppy or adult dog for your family. You have a lot of things to think about when you begin to look for that new family member, puppy or dog? Large or small? Purebred or […]

    Read more