With the difficult job of firefighters, it could be physically and emotionally draining for them. Especially with the 2020 wildfires on the West Coast, they had to be away from home to respond to their duties. Luckily, a furry friend comes to visit them to brighten their day.
Kerith, a two-year-old Golden Retriever, works as a therapy dog, comforting firefighters in emergency rooms and fire stations since 2019. But with the wildfires in Fresno, California, the pooch and his owner, Heidi Carman, visited base camps where there were over 2,000 firefighters.
This cute pupper’s journey to becoming a therapy dog was not what her hooman had planned before. Heidi had been raising training Golden Retrievers puppies for an organization called Guide Dogs for the Blind. Then she took in Kerith, who was only eight-weeks old at that time and was her fifth pup.
So Heidi started training and socializing Kerith to become a service dog by the time she reaches 15-months old. In her early phases of training, her hooman realized that the golden pup was too friendly to become a guide dog.
Kerith was afraid of some noises like the sound of a vacuum cleaner and would also be very excited to meet every person she sees along the way. Heidi says that if Kerith would be a guide dog for the blind, she must learn how to focus on her hooman alone and not be bothered by other distractions.
Since Kerith was not fit to become a guide dog, Heidi started looking for other groups that could need a trained dog. However, the pooch was not qualified for what they were looking for. This made Heidi decide to officially adopt Kerith as her own pup.
Since Heidi had raised puppies as guide dogs before, it was always hard for her to part ways with them. Luckily with Kerith, she didn’t have to feel that way again. Eventually, they got the puppy certified through Pet Partners as a therapy dog and as an animal-assisted crisis response team.
Every time Kerith and Heidi would visit the firefighters, it would always boost their mood. Seeing the friendly pooch early in the morning would help them start their day right. And after a long day at work, Kerith will still be there, ready to give them furry hugs and kisses.
Video Credit: CBS News