- For the past few weeks, firefighters in California have been working to contain massive wildfires that caused thousands to evacuate.
- Thanks to a therapy dog named Kerith, the weary firefighters found comfort and support from the golden retriever.
- Kerith visits the firefighters at the wildfire base camp in Marin County every day to put smiles on those heroes’ faces.
A certified crisis response therapy dog is giving comfort and support to the California firefighters.
Kerith, a 2-year-old golden retriever has visited firefighters every day at the wildfire base camp in Marin County for the past few weeks. Kerith helps to calm those heroes and to put smiles on their faces during and after their morning briefings.
More than 200 firefighters were working on the 2,500-acre Woodward wildfire. The base also has five crews, 17 fire engines, five helicopters and two water-scooping planes, the NBC Bay Area reported. Kerith visits the firefighters at the wildfire camp base on a daily basis.
“We are tasked with things that push our limits,” John Aitchison, a firefighter in Marin County, told TODAY. “And having something like a dog brings some of type of normalcy back into our lives. All these abnormal events are getting really tiring on all our folks here. So having that comfort is therapeutic.”
Kerith’s handler, Heidi Carman, told TODAY that the golden retriever helps calm the nerves of the firefighters “by just letting them be with her, and they don’t have to say anything.”
She continued, “They’ve told me that Kerith makes them feel ‘important, loved and special.’”
Heidi said that Kerith was raised to be a guide dog for the blind but “changed careers” at 14 months old to a job more suited for her — a therapy dog. She added that Kerith had taken a rigorous test in front of five judges to obtain her therapy dog certificate. If Kerith jumped once during the entire test, she would flunk, according to Heidi.
“Now she loves to jump up and dance with the firefighters,” Heidi said.